Quantcast

Pope ministers to Twitter flock



In this Oct. 24, 2012, file photo, Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican for his weekly general audience. The Vatican spokesman on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, said that the 85-year-old Benedict will start tweeting from a personal Twitter account, perhaps before the end of the year. AP Photo/ANDREW MEDICHINI

VATICAN CITY- Pope Benedict XVI is due to send out his first, much-anticipated Twitter message on Wednesday, with hundreds of thousands of followers already signed up to receive the tweet.

Since the pope last week announced he would start tweeting under the name @pontifex, around 625,000 people have registered to follow his main account, in English. Tens of thousands more are following his Arabic, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish accounts.

The first tweet is expected around 1100 GMT, marking a milestone in Vatican communication efforts as it tries to disseminate the Catholic message — especially to younger people.

“The first tweets will be answers to questions sent to the pope on matters of faith,” Vatican communications adviser Greg Burke said last week, inviting users to ask questions of the pontiff.

Several fake Twitter accounts have already been set up in the pope’s name and used to mock the 85-year-old pontiff. Burke said there would always be parodies, as well as tweets that seem official but are fake.

Thousands of people in the Twitter universe have posed questions to the Church, including a slew of offensive and negative messages referencing the clerical sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Church over the past decade.

Burke, a former correspondent for US channel Fox News brought in by the Vatican in June to overhaul its public-relations operation, has said the pope’s Twitter account would create “a free market of ideas, and that is good.”

The 140-character messages will not be written by the pope himself, but by Vatican officials who will submit them to him for approval.








Recent Stories:

Aquino on attending Laude wake: ‘I don’t attend wakes of people I don’t know’ 3 mins elapsed World No. 1 Novak Djokovic welcomes baby boy 7 mins elapsed Wife admits ordering killing of Briton on Bali—police 17 mins elapsed Bayan still fumes despite Pemberton’s detention in Camp Aguinaldo 26 mins elapsed Australian convicted in child sex sting with virtual Filipina girl 37 mins elapsed ‘PH must demand for full custody of Pemberton for Laude slay probe’ 40 mins elapsed Trillanes accuses Antonio Tiu of withdrawing millions of cash from QC bank 43 mins elapsed Santiago calls Pemberton detention under American watch ‘offensive,’ ‘unacceptable’ 47 mins elapsed
Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.






Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
Advertisement
Marketplace