Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pope Benedict will make Twitter debut with @pontifex
cna ^ | December 3, 2012 | Estefania Aguirre

Posted on 12/03/2012 1:55:55 PM PST by NYer

Greg Burke speaks to the media about the Pope's new Twitter account at a Dec. 3, 2012 press conference. Credit: Estefania Aguirre-CNA.

Vatican City, Dec 3, 2012 / 10:13 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope's Twitter account will be @pontifex and will start on Dec. 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Vatican representatives announced.

The news of the 85-year-old tweeting came out weeks ago, but officials finally revealed the account's name and that it will be launched on the Marian feast day, which they said was a coincidence.

But instead of informing people of his favorite band and other trivia, the Pope’s goal will be to impart spiritual messages to people around the globe.

The official announcement of the account was made at a Dec. 3 news conference.

Greg Burke, who was recently appointed media advisor to the Holy See's Secretary of State, explained that the name was chosen because pontifex means both “Pope and bridge builder,” and the Holy Father desires to reach out to everyone with the initiative.

On Dec. 12, Pope Benedict will personally tweet, but after that assistants will tweet content he approves.

"They will be his words and no one will be putting words in his mouth," Burke explained. "My personal input will be to see that it happens as often as possible.”

Security will be dealt with if any problems occur, Burke said, adding that it’s an issue that the Vatican website deals with on a daily basis.

"There are many imitators out there - some of them are good willed, some of them are not," he said.

The initiative will not cost the Vatican much money since they already have the manpower.

The Pope’s account is expected to be launched at around noon, after the weekly general audience, and the inaugural day will feature answers to a handful of chosen questions related to faith, in honor of the ongoing Year of Faith.

"I think it's a great means, despite the fact that the Vatican has been cautious about doing it with the Pope, because it's one thing for a movie star or soccer player to do it and it's another thing for the Pope to put his name on tweets," Burke said.

"But I still think it's a great way to reach a whole lot of people, and the more we can do it, the better."

The account will include tweets in seven languages besides English. Those languages are Spanish, Arabic, German, Polish, French, Portuguese and Italian.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, said that he "loves it that the Pope will have a Twitter account, and it's going to portray what he carries in his heart."

"He wants to be, in a discrete way, involved in man's search for answering questions," Archbishop Celli remarked. "He has a desire to dialogue with man and help him find again a meaning for his own life."

But critics question how the Pope's messages can be reduced to only 140 characters.

"That's not my problem," Archbishop Celli replied. "My problem is to give a profound human depth to our communication," he added.

"I don't want to give an excessive tribute to modernity nor advertise Twitter, but it's our desire to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today."

Currently with 1 billion people or one-seventh of the world’s population uses Facebook, in contrast with Twitter's 500 million users.

But Burke thinks that Pope Benedict XVI will reach more people this way and that a Facebook account would be "too personal."

"I would be surprised if someone like the Pope who speaks so much publicly didn't have a Twitter account," he said.

"His page will change from time to time depending on the season, so now it'll be related to Advent," added Burke.

The Secretary of State media advisor also foresees the Twitter account being “extremely helpful to follow up on emergencies.”

Archbishop Celli noted that most Twitter users are aged 18 to 34, and that the Pope wants to better engage with that segment of the population.

Pope Benedict's English-language Twitter account had 158,000 followers as of Monday evening at 6:30 p.m. Rome time.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Ministry/Outreach; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: pope; twitter

1 posted on 12/03/2012 1:56:08 PM PST by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...
On Dec. 12, Pope Benedict will personally tweet, but after that assistants will tweet content he approves. "They will be his words and no one will be putting words in his mouth," Burke explained. "My personal input will be to see that it happens as often as possible.”

Facebook .. Twitter .... would be curious to know how effective you think this ministry will prove with youth.

2 posted on 12/03/2012 1:59:01 PM PST by NYer ("Before I formed you in the womb I knew you." --Jeremiah 1:5)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

I imagine there will be a good deal of feel good “buzz” of the already faithful.

While the Haters wear themselves thread thin tweeting the Pope.


3 posted on 12/03/2012 2:10:33 PM PST by Berlin_Freeper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer
Facebook .. Twitter .... would be curious to know how effective you think this ministry will prove with youth.

Personally, I don't think these things do much in the end, other than generating headlines for a few days. What speaks most directly to young people is what they see in the liturgy, and that is little more than terrifying if what happens around me is any indication.

Lex orandi lex credendi cuts both ways. Not only does how we pray reflect our own faith, and reinforce it, but it is also how we evangelize. When we sit in our churches applauding ourselves and ignoring the Eucharistic Lord, when our ministers turn the holy sacrifice of the Mass into a self-promoting stand-up comedy routine, when we act no different in front of the Sacrament than we do outside, when we receive as carelessly as we would take a french fry off of a friend's plate we teach the young people around us just what our faith is. The liturgy is the Church's most important tool of evangelism, both historically and today, and that is what is overlooked by most people. I am sure the Holy Father has only good intentions in this, but it will just not matter at all until the liturgy is given the attention it needs throughout the Church, and not just in text but in action. Until then these things will just look like empty words no matter how shiny the device people read it on.

4 posted on 12/03/2012 4:30:47 PM PST by cothrige
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: NYer

and in 5 minutes there were hundreds of tweets of abuse.


5 posted on 12/03/2012 10:02:33 PM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

I welcomed the Pope and told him via my tweet just to “ignore them”.


6 posted on 12/04/2012 3:10:38 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Biggirl

from what I read, the Pope won’t actually be tweeting, but would send a message to someone who’d do the actually typing in — not sure Pope Benedict is very tech savvy :) but he is smart where it matters — theologically


7 posted on 12/04/2012 3:31:16 AM PST by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Cronos

Maybe even better that way, because some tweets are not what I would say are to write home about.


8 posted on 12/04/2012 3:49:55 AM PST by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson