Pope Sends First-Ever Tweet

Holy See boosts online presence

Today is the 60th anniversary of the Pope’s ordination as a priest. To start the celebration early, Pope Benedict XVI launched the Vatican’s new news portal yesterday, broadcasting the addition to the Holy See’s media repertoire with his first-ever tweet. "Dear Friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," the Pope tweeted from @news_va_en.

The Pope sent his first tweet from his iPad and then followed with a French translation on the Holy See’s French Twitter feed. The bilingual Twitter presence is drumming up attention for the Vatican’s comprehensive online news presence, www.news.va. For the first time, users can get news from across the spectrum of the Vatican’s multifaceted news machine in one place.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, pioneered the initiative. Celli believes an increased presence online will help keep the Catholic Church relevant. Though news.va is an innovation for the Vatican, it is joined by other established new media initiatives like a popular Facebook page for the beatification of Pope John Paul II and the Pope2You app.