He’s no Gaga or Bieber, but Pope captivates followers online

He might not be up there with Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber in terms of followers just yet but Pope Benedict has made it to Twitter.




After an interminable lead in, Pope Benedict XVI, or @pontifex as all the kids will now surely call him, finally issued his first tweet yesterday. In fact, the German octogenarian managed five whole tweets on subjects close to his heart like, well, Catholicism and Jesus.

The first official tweet was: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

That was followed an hour later by questions from the faithful — the first of which seemed to be: “How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?”

We had Il Papa’s answer for this within the hour: “By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need”.

This question and answer theme was also followed in the next two tweets: “How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?” The answer: “We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful.”

The pontiff is also racking up quite a list of followers. So far, he has amassed more than 1m, while he is only following seven people, all of which are his own accounts in different languages.

You can do that sort of thing when you are infallible.

However, those who think the Pope is rattling out the tweets himself on his iPad or smartphone might be left disappointed.

Twitter had an employee by the Pope’s side as he sent his first pre-drafted tweet. The Vatican has said someone else may have actually typed it for him.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

Email Updates

Receive our lunchtime briefing straight to your inbox

More in this Section

Taxpayers’ bill for Mahon tribunal at €57m ... so far

Former factory site to become ‘mini town’ in Tralee

‘Do we decide who lives based on economics?’ asks CF patient

Subjects of iconic century-old photograph had links to Easter Rising and nationalist organisations


Breaking Stories

Austin Stack: Gerry Adams has more information and has not shared it with Gardaí

Man killed after 4 X 4 falls on him in Tipperary farm accident

Pay-by-weight bin charges delayed

Man seriously ill after he was shot up to six times in Dublin

Lifestyle

Children's hospice makes sure families experience a truly precious Christmas

Other Voices has been expanding horizons on the Dingle peninsula

100 years ago Cork knuckled down to the coldest winter in living memory

For Simon Delaney, Christmas is the most magical time of the year

More From The Irish Examiner