Just more than a year ago now, in June of 2011, Pope Benedict XVI posted his first Tweet ever to promote the launch of a new Vatican information portal. The words of the Pope were typed into an iPad (after being taught how to use it of course).
At that time, the Pope Benedict XVI used a @news_va_en Twitter account:
Soon though, Pope Benedict XVI will be fluttering back into Twitter with a new account, @pontifex.
Just hours ago, in a Twitter blog, the Vatican announced that on December 12, “people everywhere will have a chance to Tweet questions relating to faith and belief using the hashtag #AskPontifex. Questions will be curated by the Vatican staff for the Pope to respond to via his new Twitter account on December 12th in a live tweeting event at the end of his weekly audience.”
So how can this be of assistance to anyone willing to Tweet 140 characters or less to the Pope and expect a similar short response? Well, Pope Benedict XVI says that he will respond to the spiritual Q&A’a “In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated – as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.”
Although the intro video by Slater says that Pope Benedict XVI will Tweet in 6 languages, the Twitter blog corrects that and says that Pope Benedict XVI is going to make communication with him available in 8 languages:
- Spanish: @pontifex_es
- Italian: @pontifex_it
- Portuguese: @pontifex_pt
- German: @pontifex_de
- Polish: @pontifex_pl
- Arabic: @pontifex_ar
- French: @pontifex_fr
Plus – English - @pontifex
Don’t expect Pope Benedict XVI to check his account regularly, nor even personally though. The account will primarily be used to send out Tweets as the Vatican sees fit and is to can be seen as more of an avenue to promote talk of faith of the proclaimed messiah among men and women.
Although there are already numerous ways to listen to the the Pope, many feel that this upcoming Tweet session on Dec 12, 2012 using the latest form of digital media where the Pope’s thoughts meet real time text may open up ways to get to the bottom of many issues, even those that have plagues the Vatican over recent years.