Even Pope Benedict XVI is now tweeting. Does that mean Twitter is now somehow more Godly?
As reported by BBC News, the present Pope Joseph Ratzinger, tweeted for the first time on Tuesday (June 28), sending the following message to the (now more than) 33,000 people following @news_va_en using an Apple iPad:
“Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”
OK, so it isn’t the most exciting tweet in terms of content, but it’s an important one nonetheless.
This is just one aspect of a campaign by the Vatican to move with the times and connect with Catholics around the world using every tool at its disposal. News.va, the subject of that first tweet, is a portal which the Vatican will use to share news and information with its followers across the Web.
Some people don’t want the Pope to be on Twitter, considering it a waste of his precious time that could be better spent elsewhere. And while that is probably true, that’s missing the much bigger picture. It isn’t like the Pope will be sitting tweeting on his phone all day long, getting distracted from his Papal duties whilst doing so. Instead, he’ll have a team of publicists doing it for him. Hell, he won’t even know what is being tweeted in his and the Vatican’s name.
But by sending this first tweet he has gained publicity for this concerted effort to bring the Vatican and the catholic religion as a whole into the present. All religions are in danger of dying out as atheism rises and church attendances drop. So why not use every avenue they have open to them in order to reach out? Having said all that, I’m not going to convert to Catholicism on the basis that the Pope sent a tweet from an iPad. Sorry.