It’s 3:01 am in California on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I just finished watching a historic moment as Pope Benedict XVI concluded today’s Wednesday audience with the first official tweets from his newly christened @Pontifex twitter account. Here’s how the moment played out on video:
In the moments leading up to that first series of tweets, Twitter’s consultant to the Vatican Claire Diaz-Ortiz @Claire reported (via Twitter of course) that Pope Benedict XVI’s combined Twitter accounts had followed the 1 million follower threshold.
While watching, I grabbed the following screenshots of the moment:
The first English tweet from the @Pontifex account was a simple message of welcome and gratitude:
The Vatican has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will be responding to Twitter questions posed using the #AskPontifex hashtag in a few hours. Obviously, he’ll have a team around him to assist with this on a continuing basis. The hashtag has already offered the faithful an opportunity to engage in dialogue with others around the globe on issues of faith (and to “turn the other cheek” a bit too).
What will the second tweet be? We wait and watch. I’m so happy to have been (virtually) present to watch this moment in our Church’s history and look forward to seeing how the Holy Father will employ Twitter for catechesis, evangelization, encouragement and prayer.
For you: How do you feel about the Pope’s presence on Twitter? What does this use of technology mean for the faithful and for those who desire to learn more about Catholicism?