Pope Joins Tweeting Masses With Pontifex Handle - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Pope Joins Tweeting Masses With Pontifex Handle

Posted:
In this June 28, 2011 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI touches a touchpad to send a tweet for the launch of the Vatican news information portal "www.news.va", at the Vatican. (Photo: AP) In this June 28, 2011 file photo, Pope Benedict XVI touches a touchpad to send a tweet for the launch of the Vatican news information portal "www.news.va", at the Vatican. (Photo: AP)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Benedict XVI, the pope known for his hefty volumes of theology, is now trying brevity — spreading the faith through his own Twitter account.

The pontiff will tweet in eight languages starting Dec. 12 using his personal handle (at)Pontifex, responding live to questions about faith during his weekly general audience, the Vatican said Monday.

Within four hours of the Vatican's announcement, Benedict had already garnered 100,000 followers on the English version of (at)Pontifex alone. He may never hit 1 billion faithful that the Catholic Church counts around the globe, but he's odds-on to get 1 million followers by the end of the year, British bookmakers Ladbrokes said.

The pope sent his first tweet last year from a Vatican account to launch the Holy See's news information portal, part of efforts to increase the church presence in social media and spread the faith. A personal Twitter account for the 85-year-old Benedict has been the subject of intense speculation ever since; Monday's news conference was packed in an indication of the interest it has generated.

Greg Burke, the Vatican's communications adviser, said the handle (at)Pontifex was chosen because it not only means pope in Latin, but also bridge-builder, suggesting unity. How often will the pope tweet? "As often as he wants," Burke said, adding that he hoped the tweeting would be frequent and regular.

While the pope will push the button himself on Dec. 12, subsequent tweets will be sent by someone in the Vatican's secretariat of state. They will, however, all be approved by the pope, officials said.

"It's always going to have his engagement and his approval," said Monsignor Paul Tighe, the No. 2 in the Vatican's social communications office. "Not physically, but from his mind."

Questions for the inaugural papal tweet can be submitted to (hash)askpontifex, and the pope will likely respond to three to five of those sent from around the world, Burke said. Subsequent tweets are expected to remain spiritual in nature, taken from his teachings or homilies.

Currently a host of Twitter accounts use the pope's name, purporting to be his personal account. The (at)Pontifex account, however, is certified as the only official papal Twitter feed, Tighe said. No special security arrangements have been taken to prevent the account from being hacked; Burke said Twitter has many celebrity clients.

"They seem to be able to take care of them. We assume they'll be able to take care of us as well," he said.

Papal tweets will be sent simultaneously in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Polish and Arabic, Burke said. Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Vatican's social communications office, said he hoped to add Chinese.

He stressed that the papal tweets aren't to be considered infallible teachings, merely "pearls of wisdom" in the pope's own words.

The Vatican has been increasing its presence in social media, using YouTube channels and Facebook pages for special events and Twitter to engage believers and nonbelievers alike, particularly the young.

The Vatican decided against using a personal Facebook page for the pope because they thought it was too personal an interaction and would require more manpower to keep updated.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Laurel Man Arrested For Deer Hunting Violations

    Laurel Man Arrested For Deer Hunting Violations

    Feb 22, 2018 11:19 AM2018-02-22 16:19:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:44 AM EST2018-02-22 16:44:30 GMT
    (Photo Credit: MGN Online)(Photo Credit: MGN Online)
    (Photo Credit: MGN Online)(Photo Credit: MGN Online)
    DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Sussex County man for multiple deer hunting violations.More
    DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police arrested a Sussex County man for multiple deer hunting violations.More
  • Delaware Budget Plan Cuts Out Funding for Mammography Van

    Delaware Budget Plan Cuts Out Funding for Mammography Van

    Feb 22, 2018 10:55 AM2018-02-22 15:55:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:55 AM EST2018-02-22 15:55:21 GMT
    The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition's mammography screening van. (Photo: DBCC's website)The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition's mammography screening van. (Photo: DBCC's website)
    The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition's mammography screening van. (Photo: DBCC's website)The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition's mammography screening van. (Photo: DBCC's website)
    A van that has traveled around Delaware for the last decade offering low-income patients mammograms and other health screenings will be out of commission under Gov. John Carney's $4.25 billion spending plan for the coming year.More
    A van that has traveled around Delaware for the last decade offering low-income patients mammograms and other health screenings will be out of commission under Gov. John Carney's $4.25 billion spending plan for the coming year.More
  • Atlantic General Hospital Seeks Community Support to Fund Major Projects

    Atlantic General Hospital Seeks Community Support to Fund Major Projects

    Feb 22, 2018 10:34 AM2018-02-22 15:34:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 10:40 AM EST2018-02-22 15:40:00 GMT
    (Photo: WBOC)(Photo: WBOC)
    (Photo: WBOC)(Photo: WBOC)
    Atlantic General Hospital is looking for community support to fund some major campus improvement projects.More
    Atlantic General Hospital is looking for community support to fund some major campus improvement projects.More
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Harrington Police Investigating Rise in Credit Card Fraud

    Harrington Police Investigating Rise in Credit Card Fraud

    Feb 21, 2018 7:08 PM2018-02-22 00:08:00 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 7:47 AM EST2018-02-22 12:47:02 GMT
    The Harrington Police Department is warning people of a possible card skimmer at local businesses after learning of a rise in credit and debit card fraud cases Wednesday.More
    The Harrington Police Department is warning people of a possible card skimmer at local businesses after learning of a rise in credit and debit card fraud cases Wednesday. More
  • Two Arrested on Drugs & Firearm Charges in Dover

    Two Arrested on Drugs & Firearm Charges in Dover

    Feb 21, 2018 1:35 PM2018-02-21 18:35:00 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:50 PM EST2018-02-21 18:50:40 GMT
    Two people were arrested after a traffic stop in Dover that revealed drugs and firearms in their vehicle.More
    Two people were arrested on drugs and firearms charges following a traffic stop in Dover, Delaware.More
  • Police Make Arrest in Dover Death Investigation

    DSP Make Arrest in Dover Death Investigation

    Feb 21, 2018 5:55 AM2018-02-21 10:55:00 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 8:12 AM EST2018-02-21 13:12:34 GMT
    Malcolm A. Casson (Photo: Delaware State Police)Malcolm A. Casson (Photo: Delaware State Police)
    Delaware State Police have charged a suspect with murder in connection with the stabbing death of a man whose body was found at the rear of the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover.More
    Delaware State Police have charged a suspect with murder in connection with the stabbing death of a man whose body was found at the rear of the John Dickinson Plantation in Dover. More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • DelDOT Proposes to Realign Old Orchard Road in Lewes

    DelDOT Proposes to Realign Old Orchard Road in Lewes

    A new DelDOT project aims to address an area that's had over 100 crashes in the past ten years.

    According to new design plans, DelDOT wants to realign Old Orchard Road to create a new, four-way intersection at the existing light at Savannah and Wescoats Roads. DelDOT engineer John Caruano says the project would cost $4 million in state funds, but solve multiple issues in the area.

    More

    A new DelDOT project aims to address an area that's had over 100 crashes in the past ten years.

    According to new design plans, DelDOT wants to realign Old Orchard Road to create a new, four-way intersection at the existing light at Savannah and Wescoats Roads. DelDOT engineer John Caruano says the project would cost $4 million in state funds, but solve multiple issues in the area.

    More
  • Lewes Lightship Being Restored in New Jersey

    Lewes Lightship Being Restored in New Jersey

    A piece of Lewes history is missing. But when she's back, she'll be better than ever. 

    The Lightship Overfalls is currently across the bay in New Jersey, receiving a restoration likened to cosmetic surgery.

    More

    A piece of Lewes history is missing. But when she's back, she'll be better than ever. 

    The Lightship Overfalls is currently across the bay in New Jersey, receiving a restoration likened to cosmetic surgery.

    More
  • Riverside Boat Ramp Construction Delayed in Salisbury, Part 2

    Riverside Boat Ramp Construction Delayed in Salisbury, Part 2

    Construction of a new Riverside Boat Ramp in Salisbury has been delayed, leaving some boaters with concerns as boating season is just around the corner. Work to rebuild the new east-side boat ramp was set to begin by the end of February and be complete by April 1. However, work is now set to begin mid-spring.

    More

    Construction of a new Riverside Boat Ramp in Salisbury has been delayed, leaving some boaters with concerns as boating season is just around the corner. Work to rebuild the new east-side boat ramp was set to begin by the end of February and be complete by April 1. However, work is now set to begin mid-spring.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices