His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI is now an official Twitter user under the handle @pontifex.
We knew this was coming sometime this year, and it seems to follow in line with the Vatican’s recent plans to build up a greater social media presence. They already have @news_va_eng, an update feed straight from the Vatican to the world’s billion Catholics:
Pope Benedict to launch new Twitter account §RV rv.va/22dRej
— Vatican – news (@news_va_en) December 3, 2012
So far, the account is a ghost town without so much as a “guten tag” from Pope Benny, though as you can see, @pontifex already has roughly 75,000 followers. The Vatican is also working on six other language-specific Pope Benedict accounts for German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Italian and Arabic.
Also, Benny won’t actually be using the account himself. He writes everything by hand and never touches a computer, so he’ll be tweeting through various intermediaries who will presumably break his pearls of wisdom down into 140-characters or less, remove various vowels, alter spelling, and leave room for hashtags like #peacebewithyou, #dontforgetyoursacraments, and #wakeup4mass.
Pope Benny’s first tweets are supposed to go live on December 12. You can start following the Pope here.