An interesting claim about the followers of @pontifex

From Vatican Insider comes this …. color me skeptical.

Benedict XVI has almost 2 million followers on Twitter. “The Pope has grasped the full potential of this social network. Facebook’s too personal”

“Someone had to show the Pope where to press to send his tweet as he’s not very familiar with modern technology. What is important is the Pope’s willingness and openness to this new communication medium,” the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Mgr. Carlo Maria Celli, said. Mgr. Celli commented on the launch of the Pope’s new Twitter account, in a statement to ANSA at the end of the “High Speed News” conference organised by the Rome Press Association.

“We were strike [sic] by the media interest it sparked across the world. The account has almost 2 million followers – Celli added -. The majority of followers are Brits, [?!? I doubt that!  Is it possible the word “English” was taken for nationality rather than language spoken?] followed by the Spanish and the Italians. It is true that there are not many German followers but we were shocked to see so many Arab followers. When I explained the importance of having so many followers and the global effect of retweeting to the Pope, he understood perfectly and was well aware of the immense communicative potential of this.”   [potential… how ’bout moving from “potency to act”?]

“At the moment we are not considering opening a Facebook account for the Pope [Deo gratias!] as it is a much more personal medium, while YouTube and Twitter have a more institutional dimension – he continued-. It is not true, as some have claimed that the Pope doesn’t even look at tweets, because he has to approve them. The Secretariat of State sends Twitter messages along with other documents to the Pope for approval. [sigh] If this was not the case, these would not be the Pope’s tweets. Although he doesn’t write the tweets himself, these are the 100% Pope’s messages.”

Like with every other document, the Pope isn’t going to have written the whole thing himself.

However, I will return to my two burning questions:

Are the Pope’s @pontifex tweets going to be published in Acta Apostolicae Sedis?

What theological note will they have?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. rcg says:

    I think Mgr. Celli meant “twits”.

  2. AnnAsher says:

    I have doubts about there being positive measurable affect by @pontifex. Thus far I’m disappointed.

  3. Pingback: SUNDAY EDITION | Big Pulpit

  4. Johnno says:

    Well as some suspected, he’s not personally writing the tweets, then no doubt he’s probably not reading them all either, which makes sense considering how many people would tweet at him.

    So it’s understandable, but it loses the entire idea behind twitter being a personal outlet in a sense.

    So the whole twitter thing is in that sense irrelevant if you’re expecting to actually reach the Pope, unless it’s a mass of people tweeting the same message to bombard it with some concern which may or may not reach him depending on who’s managing the account and deciding what to pass on through to the pope. In that regards it’s not really that different from an @Vatican account.

    Oh well…

  5. Bryan Boyle says:

    I think we’re missing the point…the Holy Father is not sitting there with his i-whatever…thinking of what to tweet about. But, like all means of communication…that the Vatican, under his direction (or with his approbation) is using this as a form of ‘getting the message out’, whether it be simple bon mots or encouraging thoughts (which, I’m going to propose, are more useful than seeing ‘sitting in line outside the loo’) is in line with what the Church has always done. Proclaiming the Good News.

    It’s just another tool. Probably will NOT be around in 5 or 10 years. But, why not? (Note: I’m not on Twitter have resisted being on Twitter). If it’s seen as good enough for some bubbleheaded 20-something talentless actress…why not the Vicar of Christ? Gotta try and meet people where they are…to help them get to where they should be. Our Lord didn’t hang out with the ‘beautiful people’ of his time…he dined with sinners, tax collectors, shepherds…in other words: us.

    God bless him for trying. Takes a lot of courage to wander into the social media swamp.

  6. MichaelJ says:

    So, the same individuals who, for the past 50 years have so completely misconstrued the clear( ahem) documents of the Vatican II council are the ones who will be composing and sending His Holiness’ messages on Twitter – with his complete knowledge and approval of course.

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