The day we have all been waiting for has finally arrived: The Pope has sent his first tweet

Pope Benedict XVI has officially entered the Twitterverse, sending out the first tweet from his personal account, @pontifex at approximately 11:30am European Standard Time (8:30AM EST) today.

“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,” the tweet read.

His Holiness has made six subsequent tweets within three hours of the original tweet, the latest coming around 5:00pm ECT. The tweets were all questions and answers sent in by followers as part of a contest launched by the Vatican during the Vatican’s official announcement of the @pontifex account, with the final question posed by a “mom from the United States.”

The Pope’s English-language account had gathered more than 843,000 followers by the publication of this article. Within the four hours since the Pope’s first tweet, nearly 39,000 people had retweeted the blessing and another 12,000 had marked it as a favorite tweet.

The initial tweet went out during the Pope’s weekly general audience, and the Italian translation was also flashed on jumbo screens in the Pope Paul VI Hall inside the Vatican. Tweets from the @pontifex account are simultaneously sent out in eight languages, including Italian, English, and Spanish.

Unsurprisingly, the Pope’s decision to join Twitter has already been mocked and criticized by some. Comedian Jon Stewart and the newspaper The Onion both poked fun at the idea that His Holiness owns an iPad, and the Vatican was spammed with tweets remarking on the church’s clerical sex scandals.

This is technically not the first time that the Pope has written a tweet. He sent out a tweet over a year ago using a generic Vatican account to launch the Holy See’s information portal. And while His Holiness himself published the first tweet, it is believed that his staffers will send out future tweets for him.

 

Comments

Comments

  1. Austin says:

    I think this is a great way to reach out to his followers.

Polititainment

Sony cancels 'The Interview'

NEW YORK (AP) — Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation's largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of the Seth Rogen comedy "The Interview."

'The Interview' to drop in North Korea

Human rights groups are set to drop DVDs of "The Interview" into North Korea via hydrogen balloons, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Democrats fundraising off of Colbert

First came the birthday cards, then came the desperate pleas for help, now comes "The Colbert Report."

Sony hack just got a lot scarier

The group allegedly behind the cyberattacks -- which identifies itself as "Guardians of Peace" -- suggested that it will organize terror attacks at movie theaters when the film "The Interview" premiers.

Obamas talk racism with People magazine

People magazine conducted an interview with Barack and Michelle Obama during which the first couple discussed their experience with racism in America.

White House

District court declares Obama’s executive action on immigration unconstitutional
A federal court in Pennsylvania declared parts of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration unconstitutional Tuesday. Judge Arthur J. Schwab, sitting in the western district of Pennsylvania, said presidents do have the power to use discretion in deciding how to enforce laws, but found that Obama’s recent executive action went much further than that.  He said Obama was writing […]
Obama administration extends Pell grants to juvenile offenders
The Obama administration has set out new guidelines that allow for students sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities to be eligible for federal Pell grants. The U.S. Department of Education and Department of Justice sent out a joint release Monday that clarified an earlier law. Congress in 1994 prohibited inmates at federal and state prisons from receiving Pell Grants […]
White House denies report that it wants to delay release of CIA torture report

The White House is insisting it wants the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report on CIA torture practices, despite a report that Secretary of State John Kerry is trying to scuttle it.

Kate visits NYC kids; Prince William joins Obama

NEW YORK (AP) — Prince William's wife, Kate, wrapped Christmas gifts, helped preschoolers decorate picture frames and left an impression of a down-to-earth royal as she toured a child development center Monday with New York City's first lady.

The surprising opponents and backers of Obama’s net neutrality plan

Ted Cruz vs. Justice Scalia, and Obama vs. Jesse Jackson and the NAACP: The fight in Washington over "net neutrality” and has drawn up some strange battle lines.

Congress

Retiring DemHenry Waxman's farewell ode to govt

You'd think that, 40 years in, a congressman might grow cynical about the prospects of government meddling. Not retiring Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)!

Senate Confirms Pro-Gun Control Surgeon General
NATIONAL JOURNAL — The Senate narrowly confirmed a new surgeon general whose nomination was delayed for months in a fight over his comments alleging that guns are a public health issue. The confirmation represents a victory for gun-control advocates, even as recent polling has shown Americans moving in the other direction toward gun-rights protections. The […]
Congress gave DOD $3 billion in extra funds

Christmas came early for the Pentagon (and Lockheed Martin.)

Rand Paul's bill to repeal Obama's exec order

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has filed a bill to overturn President Obama’s executive action on immigration.

Congress sends Obama $1.1 T spending bill

Congress cleared a $1.1 trillion spending bill for President Barack Obama's signature late Saturday night after a day of Senate intrigue capped by a failed, largely symbolic Republican challenge to the administration's new immigration policy.