His Holiness will start tweeting next week.
In December of last year, the Pope used an Android tablet to turn on the lights on a the world's biggest Christmas tree, located in Gubbio, Umbria, Italy, from the comfort of his own home. Now, a year later, His Holiness has joined Twitter.
Though Pope Benedict XVI has joined Twitter, he hasn't actually posted anything to his personal page just yet. According to the New York Times, his very first tweet is scheduled for publication on December 12. When it does go out, it'll hit the Twitter streams of some 375,000 users. That's right, despite the fact that he has yet to tweet, Pope Benedict XVI is already well on his way to half a million followers. The Vatican is hoping that the Pope's foray into the wild world of social media will help the church connect with young people.
NYT cites the Vatican as saying the handle @pontifex was picked for its meaning (it translates to bridge-builder in Latin) but also because so many other usernames had already been taken. Indeed, @benedictXVI is a spoof account, @thepope looks to be the personal account of one Luis Pope Gómez, @pontif is also taken, as is @vatican, @pope, @popebenedict, and @popebenedictxvi (which has actually been suspended).
Be sure to tune in on December 12, when the Pope will send out his first tweet. The tweets will be responses to #askpontifex, and TVNZ reports that they'll initially be sent out in Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French, with other languages to be adding in future.