The Pope has decided to join the Internet through Twitter. Starting on Dec. 12, 2012, the His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will begin to twwet and answer questions through the @Pontifex handle. The Pope also has seven other accounts in different languages such as @Pontifex_es for Spanish and @Pontifex_ar for Arabic. The handle @Pontifex means “pope” and “bridge builder” suggesting that the Pope is trying to reach out and unite all peoples.
However we won’t be seeing the Pope walking around tapping on a tablet or smartphone to answer tweets as a Vatican official will write the answers and the Pope will review and approve each one. A spokesperson has said that the messages “are pearls of wisdom coming from the heart of the pope’s teaching and coming from his own mind and ideas,”. Don’t feel ignored if the @Pontifex doesn’t retweet or follow you as the Pope’s accounts will only follow other @Pontifex language accounts and no one else.
Twitter won’t be the only part of the Internet the Pope will be visible in. The Vatican is now offering a new app that live streams papal events and video feeds from the Vatican’s six webcams. “The Pope App” sends out alerts and links to top stories from Vatican news outlets. The app is set to be available on Dec. 10 for iPhones and iPads while the Android version will be out in January.