Of course, when he first signed up, it was a different Pope writing those tweets – namely, Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped aside in March. His successor, Pope Francis, the first non-European Pope for 1,300 years, has more than lived up to the task, tripling @Pontifex’ total number of followers in six months to more than 10 million.
Well, kinda. That’s 10 million over all nine of the official Pope accounts, which is a bit of a cheat, and no doubt includes a number of the same people across the different profiles, but we’ll let this one slide. And also, of note: the Pope’s Spanish language profile has the most followers of all his individual accounts, with more than 4 million.
As is par for the course on Twitter in these heady times, the Pope celebrated the news with a tweet.
Dear Followers I understand there are now over 10 million of you! I thank you with all my heart and ask you to continue praying for me
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) October 27, 2013
While the Pope asking people to pray for him is a bit like Bill Gates asking folks to pay his bills because he could use the assist – I mean, he is God’s representative on Earth, after all * – it’s good to see the Vatican getting stuck in with this newfangled social media malarky.
* The Pope, that is. Not Gates. Although now it’s out there in print it kinda makes you wonder.
(Pope Francis image: Catholic Church (England and Wales) via Flickr.)