Can’t make it to Vatican City for mass? No problem, you can connect with the pope from the comfort of your own home. Pope Benedict XVI will connect with the Twitterverse in 140 characters or less beginning December 12 from his brand new account: @pontifex.
The account, revealed Monday morning, already has over 100,000 followers and will first be used for the pope to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag, #askpontifex.
The Vatican is hoping for true global reach; tweets will be sent simultaneously in Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French. More translations will follow in the future.
The Holy See will personally send debut tweets on December 12, but those that follow may come from aides. All content will be approved by the pope.
Just don’t ask him to weigh in on the Duchess of Cambridge’s growing baby bump.
Greg Burke, The Vatican’s communications adviser, explained in a press conference Monday that tweets will be “spiritual.”
Just how often can we expect a tweet from the pope? “As often as he wants,” said Burke.
While this is the first official account for the office of the papacy, it is not actually the first time the pope has preached to the “tweeps.” In 2011, the social savvy pope used an ipad to send a message of faith (and promotion for the Vatican portal) from the Vatican’s official account:
Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI—
Vatican - news (@news_va_en) June 28, 2011