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While the Pope may not be the biggest fan of social media, he has nevertheless recognised its ability to reach out to his flock, and maybe even gain new adherents (or ‘followers’).Pope Benedict XVI is set to become the first pontiff to register a personal Twitter account, in an attempt to change with the times and use new technology, rather than outdated missives to communicate, the Guardian reports.
“The tweet can be reformulated, redistributed, relaunched and disseminated,” Father Claudio Maria Celli, the head of the Vatican’s pontifical council for social communications, said. “In this sense it is like the gospel, a small mustard seed that once scattered grows into bushes where birds can rest.”
While ‘@BenedictusPPXVI’ is the rumoured Twitter handle doing the rounds in the Italian press, the Vatican has refused to confirm it, and has not set a date for the first tweet. Celli said tweets would probably include links to the pope’s speeches (we’re guessing there won’t be any personal photos with other celebrities).
Tweets from Benedict’s new personal account may not always be written by the pope himself, but will always be approved by him, a Vatican source told the Guardian.
This won’t be the first papal dalliance with Twitter, though. During Lent, he will be tweeting once a day from the site Pope2you’s twitter account. He also tweeted the launch of the Vatican news site from Vatican radio’s Twitter account last year.
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