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Pope sends first tweet, launching new Vatican site
June 28th, 2011
03:16 PM ET

Pope sends first tweet, launching new Vatican site

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - Twitter has welcomed a new user - one who already has more than one billion followers.

Pope Benedict XVI used Twitter to announce the launch of a new Vatican website, timed to coincide with Wednesday's 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

The website, News.va, showed a photo of the pope with what appeared to be an iPad.

"The pope sent it, but it was prepared for him," Benedict's spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told CNN. "The tablet was presented to him. He did the click and sent the tweet."

It was the pope's first tweet, Lombardi confirmed.

"Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," the message said.

The pope himself may be new to Twitter, but the Vatican has been reasonably web-savvy for years, including launching an iPhone app and a Facebook page for the beatification of Pope John Paul II this year.

Benedict's tweet came on the English news feed for the Vatican, @news_va_en, which picked up about 22,000 new followers after the tweet, nearly tripling its number of followers.

The head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, previewed the new website on Monday, saying it would bring together all the Vatican news outlets in one place.

At launch, it included a scrolling lead spot that showed the pope sending his tweet and a countdown clock to his his trip to Madrid - for which the Vatican has put up yet another website, Madrid11.com.

Joseph Ratzinger - the pope's name before he assumed the throne of St. Peter - was ordained a priest on June 29, 1951, at the age of 24.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Pope Benedict XVI • Technology

soundoff (393 Responses)
  1. Lily

    There are so many beautiful treasures I love to see when I visit the Vatican, but I really believe the Pope and the Catholic Church must "ensure" that its parishoners are protected from the Catholic predators that ruin the young lives of children. More than anything I can think of, that solution is what the Pope should tweet.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • marsmotel

      He should also give back to their rightful contries those beautiful treasures they stole while trying to force everyone in their ways. So please, give the Jewish people back their stuff!

      June 28, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
    • To Cathoholics

      And not to forget the treasures Hitler gave the catholic church to hang on for him. Ever wonder why the vatican was never bombed by Hitler? Ever wonder why the vatican hated Jews as much as Hitler? Ever wonder where Hitler learned to hate the Jews from?

      June 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • CS

      Benedict has done more than almost anyone else to ensure children are protected.

      http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/benedicts-quiet-revolution-and-check-catholic-health-care

      What treasures of the Jews do you believe the Vatican possesses?

      And do not forget the Nazi plan to capture the Pope, the Nazi fury at Mit Brennender Sorge and Summi Pontificatus, the line drawn in St. Peter's Square to mark the boundary between Vatican territory and Nazi-occupied Italy, the tribute from Albert Einstein to the Catholic Church in the wake of the war, the conversion of the chief rabbi of Rome after WWII and his taking of the Pope's birth name as his baptismal name...

      The evidence goes on that the Vatican was a friend and protector of the Jews in the war years.

      http://www.ptwf.org/projects/education/Pope%20Pius%20XII%20Videos.htm

      June 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
    • narn

      I would say Hitler probably learned to hate the Jews from Martin Luther, like most Germans. Just google and read "Jews and their Lies", penned by Luther and distributed by the Nazis as part of their propaganda.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Floyd

      @To Cathoholics – clearly you are a hateful soul and full of lies. What a terrible thing to say and to distribute such drivel. My father, a faithful Roman Catholic fought in WWII voluntarily to do his part to get rid the Nazi's and injustices. My uncle was killed in the same war for the same reasons. Stop your assertion that Catholics hate Jews. I was not brought up that way in my home, church or school. Jesus was a Semite and we cherish that association with Jews. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
  2. TheTRUTH

    This guy looks like the devil !!!

    June 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      TheTRUTH said "This guy looks like the devil !!!" ,,,, Well, you talk like an idiot.

      June 28, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  3. WDinDallas

    Cool. An the remarks are funny also.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  4. Artist

    Hmm all those young children the probing fingers of the Catholic Church can reach out to now.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • CS

      The present Pope has been one of the major figures in ending the abuses.

      http://popebenedictandclergyabuse.blogspot.com/2010/04/cardinal-ratzinger-catholic-church-and.html

      June 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
  5. LoveforPeace

    Have some respect. That is all. Everyone has a different belief system.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Laughing

      You're right! why didn't I think of that? Oh yeah, it's because those damn bible thumpers keep pounding on my door being very disrespectful and saying my belief system is wrong.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • To Cathoholics

      I don't follow belief systems that destroy children's lives and deny it, lie about it, say everyone else does it to, hires lobbyists to fight the children victims, deceives others to protect their reputation over the lives of small children..

      YES! RICO act. Why doesn't our government support its people first? Because the Bishops pay off legislators with promised votes if they follow their rules. America needs to support those children destroyed by this religion first.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • narn

      America needs to support all who have been abused, especially those in our public school system (where a child is 100 more times likely to be abused than by a Catholic priest), or in all the other churches that have problems (check out stopbaptistpredators.org). Unfortunately, if you weren't abused by a priest, you basically get ignored by "Americans".

      June 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  6. tom

    you are irrelevent and yet you are posting here. i guess even idiots are allowed to post things. Whats wrong with that?

    June 28, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  7. To Cathoholics

    Who could stoop so low to destroy small children lives? The pope, fact.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • CS

      The current Pope has done more than almost any other to clean house.

      http://popebenedictandclergyabuse.blogspot.com/2010/04/cardinal-ratzinger-catholic-church-and.html

      June 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • To Cathoholics

      Wow! If Manson would have known. Just pretend that you are changing your ways and no jail time.
      Fact, the pope continues in the destruction of those children damaged. Did the pope ever stand up and tell the US president in public that he wants laws to change to expose the pedos? No. The pope remains cautious about what he saws. It is a game is all. Say and pretend, but don't enable the truth to be exposed.

      The pope shrugged his shoulder at the US supreme court demanding he testifies. Testifying would help the victims, there is your proof.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • CS

      You assume a great deal for the cohesion and information flow of the Catholic Church, far more than is warranted. In a global Church, the bishops have a great deal of power in their dioceses and extensive responsibility. If they do not communicate with Rome, Rome will not know what the bishops know. The Pope doesn't necessarily have greater knowledge of the individual cases than the bishops. Further, as a head of state, he does fall under sovereign immunity.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:47 pm |
  8. Judy

    Why do people that don't believe in anything insist on leaving comments on the belief blog? Your negativity and cynicism isn't needed, and only appealing to your own egos.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • To Cathoholics

      But we do, we believe in reality.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • marsmotel

      Because it amazes us that you are so small-minded to believe in such moronic behavior and pray to a false diety that has never been seen, and by the way, his resume is not that good anyway for a supreme being. It is fun to watch you live in fear your whole lives to be judged when you die by some saint. It is not real. Question everything and have a though of your own. It is refreshing and free!

      June 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • marsmotel

      Thought, I spelled it wrong. And to talk about ego's. the Pope is a hat choice away from being in the Klu-Klux Klan!

      June 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Judy

      Hey -Judy...

      You Said: "Why do people that don't believe in anything insist on leaving comments on the belief blog? Your negativity and cynicism isn't needed, and only appealing to your own egos."

      This is not the for 'Christians only' blog, or for 'only' people that believe in a mystical deity blog, etc...etc...

      This is overall a place where people come to discuss and share opinions, and ideas... some of which may fly in direct contradi-ction to your faith.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      June 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • marsmotel

      Yes, this is my Belief, so I am on the Belief blog!

      June 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • Floyd

      @To Cathoholics – no, you believe in hate and lies. You have written the craziest crap I have seen in years. Get help with your own denial of what truth is. You are sick.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
  9. keeth

    I was hoping for "Dear Friends, I resign."

    June 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  10. Pedobear

    "Too old, not want."

    June 28, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  11. Childrescue

    Want to expose the pope and bishops? @ChildRescueBill

    June 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  12. Michael

    Why is it always Jesus this and God the Father that? When is somebody going to give the Holy Spirit his props?

    June 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • Floyd

      They are one – The Holy Trinity.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  13. aaa

    catholicism will out last tweeter, imagine that we were viable when people wrote on codex..wood...and we are still viable in the age of the ipad..Jesus was right...the powers of hell will never conquer

    June 28, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @aaa

      So... 'viability' implies what, in your opinion...?

      Peace...

      June 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Hinduism has been around a lot longer than Catholicism has. Guess that makes them right!

      June 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • To Cathoholics

      The god Zeus made it for 7,000 years before man quit on him. I doubt the others will even make it that far.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • marsmotel

      Organized religion will not out last Twitter. You all will be killed in some stupid holy war about some god that made up to 3,000 years ago and has no place in a scientific world. Isn't one of the commandments, "Thou shall not kill"? Whatever happened to that one?

      June 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      was it "viable" when the pope bought his office, had wives and kids, mistresses, and boy friends ?

      June 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Religion will probably outlast many technolgies but only because they are dynamic and constantly evolving and improving, unlike religion...

      June 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @HotAirAce

      Hey brother...

      Did you mean to say it the way you did...? If so, I'm not following you.

      Peace...

      June 29, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • HotAirAce

      @Peace2All

      I meant what I wrote but what I wrote was not well written...

      Despite my greatest hopes, religion will outlast Twitter because some other better technology will replace Twitter due to the continual improvement nature of technology. Religion on the other had will continue to be the same old unproven bullish!t, yet frantically trying to maintain credibility in a more secular world.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • i wonder

      aaa: "imagine that we were viable when people wrote on codex..wood...and we are still viable in the age of the ipad."

      So were/are flu bugs and bacteria, but we are gradually learning how to tame them...

      June 29, 2011 at 2:27 am |
    • Peace2All

      @HotAirAce

      Thanks for a bit more clarification. Makes more sense to me now.

      Peace...

      June 29, 2011 at 2:32 am |
  14. Squelchtone

    Vader, come in Vader, this is the Emperor.. is this thing on? When will the Deathstar be fully operational?!

    June 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
    • Lanfear

      LOL!!! Yes, he totally looks like the emperor

      June 28, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  15. marsmotel

    I can't wait to see what B.S. is going to spring out this clown on Twitter. The Pope is so irrelevant these days...boring.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm |
    • AUEagle

      25% of the voting public in the US is Roman Catholic. Do you really believe the Pope is irrelevant?

      June 28, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
    • Stevie7

      AUEagle,

      Since many US Catholics either disagree with the catechism (gay marriage, abortion rights, contraception) and since nearly one third of people who were raised Catholic now consider themselves to be ex-Catholic, at least here in the states the pope is certainly trending towards irrelevance.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @AUEagle

      Religion related demographics and voting patterns speak more about the mental health of the the voters than the relevance of pope-a-dope.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • CS

      You would be surprised–check out some of his pre-papal books on Europe, or the book length interviews, or The Light of the World, published after he became Pope. Benedict is widely respected, even among European academic secularists, as a man with a good mind and ideas worth listening to.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • AUEagle

      @HotAirAce...you may have a point. In the last election, 50% of voters claiming to Catholic voted for Obama. 90% of those Catholics that actually attend Mass and practice the faith voted for McCain. So I would have to concede your point and agree that 50% of Catholics voting for Obama does indeed demonstrate mental instability.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      @AUEagle

      My main assertion is believers are either knowingly liars or suffer some form or degree of mental illness in the first instance, and that their voting patterns are secondary.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:30 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Stevie7,

      Since many US Catholics either disagree with the catechism, etc., etc., etc., as you stated, you can consider them non-Catholics or protestants, wanting to call themselves Catholics however wishing to maintain a relationship with their secular gods…money, self, possessions, etc. They have abandoned the Church that Jesus Christ founded, knowing they shouldn’t have done that…they still want to call themselves ‘Catholic’ but just ‘saying so’ does not make it true.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @CatholicMom,
      If you want to eliminate everyone who isn't in lock step with the teachings on the Church, I think you'll find yourself in a rather lonely club. Perhaps that's why the Catholic Church never seems to make too much of an effort to communicate what it actually teaches. 45% of Catholics don't understand transubstantiation. 43% support gay marriage with an additional 31% supporting civil unions. 90% support the use of contraceptives. 48% are pro-choice. 63% support research using embryonic stem cells. 63% support ordaining women priests. Take all those people out and you'd have a lot of empty pews on Sundays.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Stevie7,
      I don’t want to eliminate anyone…they do that themselves.

      July 1, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  16. Lanfear

    HAHAhahahaha......

    June 28, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  17. ali

    double yawn

    June 28, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  18. Kevin in Atlanta

    Nice to see old people attempting to understand technology. It's cute...

    June 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • FauxNews

      The attending priest should post the awesome video of him cursing at the iPad while trying to type.

      June 28, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  19. jim

    Excellent! The first tweet by an Antichrist

    June 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • AUEagle

      Brilliant remark! I'm assuming you're not an atheist since atheists don't believe in the anti-Christ, so please share and enlighten all of us here, what bigoted, false-god protestant denomination taught you that?

      June 28, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • keeth

      @AUEagle: What bigoted, false-god denomination taught you to fight hate with hate?

      June 28, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • AUEagle

      @keeth. What did I say that was hateful? If a person finds the truth hateful, that is a product of their perception.

      June 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  20. Matt

    Yawn.

    June 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.