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Coming Soon to Twitter: Pope Benedict XVI

Pontiff will see and approve, but probably not write, tweets under the handle of @pontifex.

Twitter will soon be the home of 140-character messages from a higher authority.

Pope Benedict XVI, who has been tweeting occasionally on the Vatican's Twitter news feed since last year, will launch his own personal Twitter feed at noon Dec. 12.

Within hours after the announcement was made Monday, the pope had more than 100,000 followers, according to the New York Times.

While Twitter is known for its lightning-fast dissemination of information and opinions—some of which are instantly regretted—it's doubtful that will be the case with @pontifex, the pope's new Twitter handle, according to The Guardian.

The handle, which means bridge-builder in Latin, was chosen not only for its meaning but also because many other pope-related handles were taken, according to The Times.

Locally, the Archdiocese of Baltimore—the nation's oldest, established in 1789—tweets under the handle of @archbalt. The account has 2,035 followers as of Monday.

To acknowledge the pope's Twitter announcement, @archbalt tweeted on Monday: "Pope Benedict's new Twitter handle: @pontifex."

The long-awaited papal Twitter account will leave "little room for random ramblings by the pope, and will kick off with a Q&A session to show it truly is his voice," The Guardian reported.

The creation of the papal twitter account is the latest step in the Vatican's effort to embrace the digital world. The Vatican has a YouTube channel, a general Twitter account and a website, Pope2you, already set up, according to The Guardian.

While the Vatican hopes to especially draw young members of the Catholic faith, officials say that no one should expect to be followed or retweeted by the pope.

"He won't follow anyone for now," Greg Burke, a Vatican communications advisor, said at a news conference reported on by The Times. "He will be followed."

Monsignor Paul Tighe, the Vatican's secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, told The Guardian that Benedict will read and approve every tweet that goes out through the account.

The pontiff still writes in longhand and doesn't normally use a computer, according to a report on WHDH.com.

Beginning today, the pope app is available free through the Apple Store.

number9dream December 03, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Is counseling for people abused by Roman Catholic priests also coming to Twitter?
Arbutus Town Crier December 03, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Will Adolfo Nicolás Pachón, S.J., S.T.D. have twitter acount?
Joe December 04, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Lets see if this passes the sensitive feelings of the censurer. Coming as soon is the hate and vitriol of the religious bigots on twitter. Shameful: Pope Benedict XVI joins Twitter, vile hate starts before his first tweet http://twitchy.com/2012/12/03/shameful-pope-benedict-xvi-joins-twitter-vile-hate-starts-before-his-first-tweet/
You December 04, 2012 at 12:23 AM
NOT christian. DON'T Care!
Joe December 04, 2012 at 01:42 PM
No but counseling for people abused by union teachers is coming to twitter. Far more teachers arrested than priests. google this and see the hundreds of pages of news stories on teachers arrested for raping and molesting their students and it is going on daily! teachers arrested for molesting students
Tim December 04, 2012 at 07:55 PM
I thought Emperor Palpatine already had a twitter account? (I kid, I kid!)
Arbutus Town Crier December 04, 2012 at 10:56 PM
Vatican is a nice little country Been there very rich living behind the walls. But the track record is not the greatest. Its up to the individual, and they control there own http://www.bishop-accountability.org/member/psearch.jsp....JSP? instead of the federal government? or Penn state nothing came out that JS on campus? I just don't believe in a Monarchy, But I do love My Free speech! But just for my statement I will be crucified and I didn't say anything Negative, Disgraceful,nor disrespectful. just my personal thoughts.
Arbutus Town Crier December 05, 2012 at 03:28 PM
http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbydiocese.html Sorry for the bad link Also good link http://www.bishop-accountability.org/Who_We_Are/ The Vatican’s Secretary of State,Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, I hope you find the Transparency that they share informative. Anyone can have a twitter account he is human like the rest of us.
Joe December 05, 2012 at 03:36 PM
"CA teachers’ union supports higher taxes, child molesters and Julio Perez" "Berndt is going to keep getting his benefits – and he even kept his job back in 1993 when he was first charged with molestation. And he got a $40K payment so that he would retire. Since Berndt got arrested we have found out about a lot more molester teachers in L.A., where most of Perez’ donations come from. The teachers’ union has made it almost impossible for parents to find out about these behaviors. They cover up everything. Do you think Perez is going to stand up for parents’ rights when he is being supported by the same teachers’ union that covers up for molesters - and gets them lifetime benefits even when they get arrested?" http://ocpoliticsblog.com/julio-perez-endorsed-by-same-teachers-union-that-defends-molesters/ "The teachers’ union kills a Democratic bill to remove criminals from CA classrooms" "Unions in California spent a lot of money to assure sexual perverts get to stay in the classroom. SB 1530 by a Democrat would have made it easily to get child molesters out of the class (Why is this a problem? Unions defend the molesters against the safety of the children)" http://capoliticalnews.com/2012/07/17/the-teachers%E2%80%99-union-kills-a-democratic-bill-to-remove-criminals-from-ca-classrooms/ "Teachers Unions Go to Bat for Sexual Predators " http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443437504577547313612049308.html
Joe December 05, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Do those tweets exist or not Frank? Do you deny your own eyes?
Joe December 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Frank removes another of his posts that are proven wrong by the facts. Whats going on Frank? Is it that hard to just be a man and admit you were wrong? Frank said the teachers unions do not protect their child molesters like the Catholic church did. I posts proof they do and he removes his post! Curious.
Joe December 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Now I winder if Frank has been banned or removed all his posts himself. Another is missing about the source Twitchy. He whined about the source yet would not answer the question "Do those tweets exist or not Frank? Do you deny your own eyes?" Very curious indeed.

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