The Vatican announced last week that the pope was planning to answer the questions of twitter users, as well as speaking words of wisdom on the social network on the 12th and today is that day. A couple of hours ago, he released his first few tentative messages, with more expected throughout the day.
The first one reads: “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thanks for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” So far it has been retweeted over 25,000 times and that number is still rising. Most responses from users have been with pretty poor jokes about Twitter games and such like, though some are worth a read if you have a darker sense of humour.
With retweets pouring in and more people clicking follow every second – at the time of writing @Pontifex has 710,000 followers – “his holiness” quickly issued his second and third tweets:
“How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?” Was soon followed with: “By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need.”
Whatever you think of the Catholic faith, or the pope himself, this represents a change in the way the church operates. Traditionally the church and other big, old organisations have had a very top-down structure, but with social media that model simply doesn’t work anymore.
KitGuru Says: While it seems unlikely that a back and forth conversation will occur, it does seem like a very contemporary attitude to take. Are there any questions you guys would want the pope to answer?