Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first official tweet yesterday publicizing the Vatican's newly launched website, News.va. It is the latest indicator that the Vatican is fast integrating itself into the digital age and social media.
Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI, the Pope sent out his first Tweet via the Vatican's Twitter account @news_va_en using an iPad.
This Tweet brings about the Vatican's own channel to distribute news online. News.va contains Vatican news, world news, a line-up of Vatican events, and multimedia sections with Vatican videos and photos.
The Pope's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed it was actually the Pope's first tweet. The Pope sent it, but it was prepared for him, said Lombardi, according to pcmag.com. The tablet was presented to him. He did the click and sent the tweet.
The Vatican's Twitter account @news_va_en attracted about 22,000 new followers in a day after the pontiff's first tweet was posted, said CNN.
The first pontiffical tweet is yet the Catholic Church's another effort to stay current of the Internet era. It launched an iPhone app in 2009, and it started a Facebook page for the beautification of Pope John Paul II earlier this year. In 2005, the Church launched its own YouTube channel to broadcast clips from religious services and ceremonies.
However, not everyone is excited about the Pope's social media presence. I don't really want the pope on Twitter, wrote Raakhee Mirchandani at BostonHerald.com. I want him focused on world peace, hunger, that sort of thing.
The Pope's first tweet marks the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination.