Just when it seemed Twitter couldn’t get any more popular, the unthinkable happens: the Pope created his own Twitter handle. The Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would begin posting messages on his Twitter handle, @pontifex. The pope is accepting questions under the hashtag, #askpontifex, and will begin answering as early as December 12 (according to the Vatican). Within hours of creating the account, the Pope acquired 250,000 followers. By the second day he had almost half a million followers, all without even sending out his first tweet. The Vatican and Catholic Church have seen the potential of social-media and want to use it to their advantage.
So far, the news of the Pope creating a twitter account has sparked more questions than answers. Will the Pope answer the questions himself or will it be another member of the Vatican answering the questions? Greg Burke, the Vatican’s media advisor has stated, “All the Pope’s tweets will be the Pope’s words.” Starting December 12, the Pope will occasionally answer questions live but won’t continue tweeting every day.
Many people in the Catholic Church are skeptical when it comes to the Pope having a Twitter account. On one hand, it is a great way for the Pope to connect with everyday citizens, but Twitter can also be quite challenging. Every day accounts are hacked, and if the Pope’s account were to be compromised it could cause problems for the Vatican. Regardless of the possible consequences, the Pope’s first tweet went out on December 12 saying:
“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
So what do you think? Will you ask the Pope a question or just read his latest tweets? Go to https://twitter.com/Pontifex and check it out then let us know what you think!