World, Pope Benedict has made his first Tweet today, December 12th, 2012. Via his @Pontifex account, as well as his international accounts (@Pontifex_de for German, @Pontifex_ar for Arabic, etc.), he wrote, "Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart." So far, 33,000 retweets and over 10,000 favorites on the English one. This is his hippest move since getting skateboard designs from NYC youths.
The Pope joined Twitter earlier this month, but don't think that he's using his iPhone to send messages while watching TV. The Washington Post described the process:
In Vatican City, a Twitter employee will be by the pope’s side as he taps the screen to send pre-drafted messages in eight languages from his iPad. His first tweet will be his own words, the Vatican said, but someone else may actually type it for him. He will take at least three questions from his Twitter followers, but church officials from a group called the “Pontifical Council for Social Communications” will be overseeing the interaction.
Providing the white-glove coaching to top Catholic leaders is Claire Diaz-Ortiz, Twitter’s pontiff recruitment chief, who has been in Rome for the past week to make sure the holiest of new members, @pontifex, becomes a social-media success...
The Catholic Church said Benedict’s Twitter event Wednesday in the Paul VI Audience Hall will help it recruit young members. The Vatican has worked for months with Twitter staffers to promote itself through various accounts. And it said it is only natural for the pope to speak directly to the masses.
“Decades ago, people thought a pope wouldn’t go on radio or television, but we’ve seen all these mediums are important in fulfilling the mission,” said Greg Burke, a spokesman for the Vatican who said he believes the company first suggested the idea of the @pontifex account.
For those keeping track, the Twitter account launched in February isn't the Pope super personal account—it's managed by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
The pontiff has, so far, sent out three more Tweets: One about "speaking with Jesus in prayer," another about "faith in Jesus," and one about God being a "solid rock." Cannot wait till he hears about milking and gets some emojis going.