Pope to launch Twitter account, Q&A planned

Pope to launch Twitter account, Q&A planned
Pope Benedict XVI is to begin tweeting in eight languages from his personal account @Pontifex on the social network. The first tweets are due to appear on December 12, AP reported.

­The name of the account was chosen because “Pontifex” means “Pope” and“bridge-builder” in Latin.

The Vatican pointed out that the pope’s first message will be in the Q&A format, and he will tweet “as often as he wants,” according to communication adviser Greg Burke.

"The pope's presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena," the Vatican’s statement read.

The tweets will be in Arabic, English, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish. More languages could be added in future.

Pope Benedict chose Twitter, because he wants "to ensure that the good news of Jesus Christ and the teaching of his Church is permeating the forum of exchange and dialogue that is being created by social media," the statement added.

The news about the Pope’s Twitter account earlier appeared on November 9. Even though there are no tweets, more than 32,000 users already follow Benedict XVI, with numbers rising enormously quickly every minute since the announcement.

However, it will not be the pontiff’s first appearance on Twitter.

Recently, the Vatican has been increasing its online presence in attempt to spread the faith, especially among young people.

The 85-year-old head of the Catholic Church sent his first tweet through the official Vatican account last year.

“Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedict XVI,” the pope wrote at the time.