To all those people who accuse the Catholic Church of being old-fashioned and -- sometimes laughably -- behind the times, check this out: Pope Benedict XVI is on Twitter.
It's true! The leader of the Roman Catholic Church tweeted for the very first time Tuesday -- from the Vatican's Twitter account! Of course, we already knew he was a fan of social media after this statement from earlier this year. It was only a matter of time before he joined us on Twitter.
So what did the Supreme Pontiff tweet?
Dear Friends, I just launched news.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI
He's referring, of course, to the new Vatican website, News.va. And aside from the fact that he took the Lord's name in vain (kidding!), I'd like to commend the Pope on his excellent social networking skills. Announcing that a new website is live is certainly an appropriate use of the forum, and much better than posting a link to an egocentric Instagram photo of himself in a pallium or something (although, let's just admit it, coming directly from the Pope, that'd be pretty cool, too).
In fact, there's something about the Pope on Twitter that's striking me as being sort of brilliant. In an effort to attract a younger, broader audience, the Catholic Church has stepped up its presence on Facebook and YouTube; the Pope on Twitter seems like a natural extension. There's no word if it's actually working, but you've got to hand it to an ancient institution like the Church making a valiant effort to get with the times -- at least on social media. (It would do well to similarly catch up on some of its teachings/policies, but that's for another post.)
If I was a religious gal, the Church ramping up its presence on social media would make me excited enough to convert. But for now, following the Pope on Twitter is about as holy as this heathen is going to get.
Get the Pope's latest Twitter updates at @news_va_en.
Will you follow Pope Benedict XVI on Twitter?
Image via roblisameehan/Flickr