Pope Benedict went boldly where no pope has gone before, sending the first papal tweet Tuesday on the Vatican media’s Twitter account.
Dear Friends, I just launched http://t.co/fVHpS9y Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI
The 84-year-old pontiff’s 129 character tweet praised Jesus and directed his fans to News.va, the Catholic Church’s just-launched portal for official news out of the Holy See.
(The big moment in the video below is around 1:58)
More information about the new venture was posted on the Web site:
The portal... includes the best of our own Vatican Radio site, but also the latest news from the newspaper, l’Osservatore Romano, from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, from VIS, the Vatican’s Information Service and from the Misna missionary news agency. Available initially in English and Italian, the new site uses some of the latest digital technology to offer audio and video streaming, plus high quality images and a twitter feed providing instant news headlines to smart phones and other mobile devices.
The Catholic Church’s communication difficulties are well documented --from a perceived insult of Muhammad in 2006 to international confusion last year over exactly what Benedict said about the morality of condom use. By giving the Vatican faster access to the faithful, (and, at least in theory, the people access to the pope), the church sends a message of its relevance in the modern world.
“I want to be present wherever the people are found,” one account credits Benedict with saying.
Do you find religious community or inspiration online?
What impact will these new social media ventures have on the image and outreach of the Catholic Church?