Pope joins Twitter, promising ‘pearls of wisdom’
Pope Benedict’s assault on the social media sphere was gathering pace tonight, with the number of followers of his new Twitter account soaring into six figures within hours of its launch.
He will not begin tweeting to the world until 12 December, but the conservative, 85-year-old pontiff has already started trending, the Vatican announced.
An introductory message read: “Welcome to the official Twitter page of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.”
“The Pope’s presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,” the Vatican added in a statement. It said the Pope wanted “to ensure that the good news of Jesus Christ and the teaching of his Church is permeating the forum of exchange and dialogue that is being created by social media”.
It stressed that the papal tweets were not to be considered infallible teachings, but merely “pearls of wisdom” in the Pope’s own words.
The tweets will be in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish and more languages could be added in future.
Greg Burke, the Vatican’s communications adviser, said the handle @Pontifex was chosen as it means pope and bridge-builder in Latin.
Mr Burke said the Pope would tweet “as often as he wants”. But although Benedict will push the return key for the first time on 12 December, subsequent tweets will be sent by someone in the Vatican’s secretariat of state. They will, however, all be approved by the Pope, officials said.
The Vatican has been increasing its presence in social media, using YouTube channels and Facebook pages for special events and Twitter in its efforts to engage believers and non-believers alike, particularly the young.
Life & Style blogs
Astrological signs are almost all wrong, as movement of moon and sun throws out zodiac
Professional wine tasters putting teeth at risk, study finds
Clocks change: how to make sure iPhone and smartphones automatically ‘spring forward’
NHS property sale could raise £7.5bn to help pay off its growing deficit and free up space for housing
Gay marriage, one year on: Couples mark first anniversary of same-sex marriages
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is looking to find a...
£21000 - £23600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...