Holy Tweets: Pope Benedict joins Twitter

Pope Benedict XVI

The Pope is only following his own other accounts on Twitter.


The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, is the latest world religious leader to join the micro-blogging site Twitter.

The Pope, who is yet to post a tweet as at the time of this report, joined the social media site on Monday morning and his English language account attracted over 45,000 followers in less than three hours of joining the site.

However, it seems the Catholic pontiff is only interested in himself as he only follows his own account in seven other languages- Arabic (353 followers) Portuguese (2007 followers) German (997 followers), Italian (6384 followers), Spanish (13 820 followers), French (603 followers) and Polish (469 followers).

The Twitter accounts of the Pope are @Pontifex @Pontifex_de @Pontifex_es @Pontifex_pt @Pontifex_ pl @Pontifex_fr @Pontifex_ar @Pontifex_it

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It is still unclear whether the Pope will tweet in Latin, the official language of the global capital of the church, the Vatican. Twitter does not offer its services in Latin. The language is largely extinct except in few places including the church where it is still used for ceremonial purposes.

A source told the BBC that the Pope is unlikely to manage the account himself.

A recent study states that religious leaders are the most influential on Twitter outshining movies stars, musicians and politicians.

Arabic new network, Arabiya, reported that “inspirational messages of God’s love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop stars such as Lady Gaga.”

Other notable religious leaders on Twitter are Daila Lama with 5.6 million followers; and Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church with 802,296 followers, who was recently named by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s most influential twitter users. Though Islamic tweets are reasonably popular especially during religious festivals such as the Ramadan, Muslim leaders are not known to sway much influence on Twitter.

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