Pope Tweets For The First Time

Jun 28, 2011, 14:56 by Sarah Long

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet ever Tuesday while using a Twitter app on his iPad.

"Dear Friends, I just launched www.news.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," wrote the Pope, using his formal name in Latin - the Vatican's official language.

The news.va web portal is the newest step in the Vatican's move toward social media. In the past few months, it has launched popular Facebook and YouTube pages in an appeal to spread the church's message to a wider and more youthful audience.

The Pope has long been a supporter of the utilization of social media, even encouraging priests to partake in the popular technology in a message on the Vatican website posted in May.

"The spread of multimedia communications and its rich 'menu of options' might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different 'voices' provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis."