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FILE - In this June 28, 2011 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI touches a touchpad to send a tweet for the launch of the Vatican news information portal "www.news.va", at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, File)  FILE - In this June 28, 2011 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI touches a touchpad to send a tweet for the launch of the Vatican news information portal "www.news.va", at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Osservatore Romano, File)   

Pope Benedict unveils new Twitter account

David Demirbilek
Contributor

“Should the Pope’s tweets be considered infallible?” tweeted Twitter director of social innovation Claire Diaz-Ortiz. The audience reportedly erupted in laughter.

The Vatican reports that Pope Benedict will officially launch a new Twitter account on Wednesday at his weekly general audience around noon Central European Time.

Although currently without any posts yet, the account is up and can be viewed here.

The concept has caught on quickly. The pontiff already has hundreds of thousands of followers after only a matter of hours.

The Vatican and Twitter worked closely together to launch the new account. “As a company it’s important for us to have influential leaders and the Pope is perhaps the most important religious leader in the world who’s joining our platform,” stated Diaz-Ortiz.

I think symbolically this is very important, this is the head of the Church going into a new digital arena to share his words and ideas,” said Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Councial for Social Communications. “It’s an encouragement to those already present using Twitter and other forms of social media to reach an even wider group of people.”

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict may have tipped his hand regarding the opening of a Twitter account. “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,” the pontiff announced in this year’s Message for World Communications Day.

The Vatican will maintain seven other related Twitter accounts in the following languages: German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, French, and Arabic.

Benedict may be followed @pontifex. Additionally, the Vatican has announced that the Pope will take questions on matters of faith at Wednesday’s conference. Questions should be sent to #askpontifex.

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