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. And Now, Here's The Latest Pope Tweets!!!

    "I had this wonderful dream about my youth. There I was in my perfect little uniform, honoring the Father, knowing I had found the true path. But then it turned to nightmare as the Russians came and took Berlin, and the Father and Eva Braun killed themselves. But It turned again from nightmare to dream again as I found another totalitarian enti-ty that I could be a part of, and maybe one day lead. Ah the sweet dereams of youth!"

    June 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Irma Smolek

      Thank You, Your Excellency for all the blessings, and for getting us closer to The Holy Trinity and Mary. We love you very much.

      June 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Pope Ratz

      Thank you very much for obeying, Irma. Send more money.

      June 28, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  2. LouAz

    This poop and all the ones before him only need 140 characters to give you their real feelings :
    Send money and young boys, bless you, amen.

    June 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  3. logmion

    Logmion says Bring back Petrus Romanus

    tell your stories of abuse on facebook Logmion Pilon

    June 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  4. nope

    I can't wait until he starts sending out twitpics of his you know what to little boys all around the world

    June 28, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  5. Lucifer

    Jesus walks into a motel, throws a bag of nails on the counter and says, "Can you put me up for the night?"

    June 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  6. Brickell Princess

    Amazing how far behind the Church is! Yet, they want us all to be as far behind as they are. No thanks!

    June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  7. Asturiano

    I seriously doubt whether the Pope even understands a tweet and I am confident that he personally did not send one.

    June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  8. Duke Okony

    A little boy is standing on top of a cliff, looking down at the sea and crying his eyes out. A priest approaches and says, "My child, why are you so upset?"

    The little boy turns to him and says, "My mummy and daddy were in their car - and it just rolled over the cliff and smashed on the rocks down there."

    The priest slowly looks around him while unbuttoning his cassock and says, "It's just not your day, is it?"

    June 28, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  9. Daniel

    @Altarboy the Holy Father would like to see you in his bedchamber

    June 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
  10. Rachire Andel

    The Last Frontier for the Freedom of thought is now being invaded by the Catholic Church.

    June 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  11. Gabe Sanchez

    Q: What's the difference between Jesus and a PICTURE of Jesus?
    A: You only need one nail to hang up the picture.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • thes33k3r

      Another good one.

      June 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  12. Big Funny Hat Guy

    And in other breaking news, today I took a massive crap. Seriously this is news? Who cares if a senile old man that believes in fairies sent a tweet lmfao.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • BobZemko

      Tell us more about the massive cr*p.

      June 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Common Sense

    I was hoping for "It's all a hoax. Peter, Paul, Mark and John were the original Marx brothers."

    June 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • BobZemko

      Don't forget Zeppo. They always forget Zeppo.

      June 28, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • John Richardson


      June 28, 2011 at 10:40 pm |
    • All he wanted was a laugh

      As he was so inept at the fast comedy the other Marx were famous for, Karlo Marx's comedy was sadly mistaken for a genuine political philosophy, with tragic results.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Quincy Adams Wagstaff

      Whatever it is, I'm against it!

      June 29, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  14. Pope

    Are there any boys in here?

    June 28, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • thes33k3r

      Good one.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  15. thes33k3r

    First tweet from Pope Benedict: "No priests are allowed to tweet obscene pictures of themselves or of any of the tens of thousands of children whom have been se-xually abused by a priest over the last 100 years. P.S. This tweet must be held in the utmost secrecy for the sake of our blessed world congregation. Any breach of this holy contract will result in immediate excommunication."

    Recommended reading: 'The Case of the Pope' by G. Robertson
    Every Catholic and every person who is concerned about human rights, religion and the Catholic Church should consider reading this book.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  16. BobZemko

    I would ask him why he and this church hate gays so much.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • KeninTexas

      Bob, you are misinformed. The Pope and the Church do not hate gays. They are loved like all others are. Just as much and not a bit less. However, the acts of gays are contrary to God's law but not being gay itself. Sorry if the truth hurts your feelings or you think you are being singled out for special hatred or somethink like that. Most of the uproar is only caused by people who want approval to do whatever they want regardless of what the church's teachings are. They was approval even if they are wrong. Sorry, it just doesn't work that way.

      June 28, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  17. Greenspam

    And his first tweet was "OMG. tis so cool. follow me every1. LOL"

    June 28, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  18. Bob Marley

    The pope smokes dope.
    And might even puff the occasional peter.

    June 28, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Truth


      June 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  19. Sheldon

    Apparently, the Pope mistook the ipad as one of the Ten Commandments tablets....

    June 28, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  20. Ed

    Aazing the article is about the Pope sending a tweet the responses are typical ateist catholic bashing

    June 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • thes33k3r

      That is aazing, isn't it? We need to band together against those evil ateists! We gotta come up with some actual arguments thogh or they'll just point out that we don't have anything usefal to add to the discussion.

      June 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • Noigiler

      Ed, of all the humane things the Pope and his minions could mobilize their PR machine for, this is the best they could do? How about a press release announcing the dismantling of one of the endless hate-based policies that he continues to assert (e.g., use of condoms; no women in clergy; no reproductive rights for women; ...). I believe that is what causes responses like this. A weaker attempt to demonstrate relevance cannot be imagined.

      June 28, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Ed

      I understand what your saying but just read the posts. For many it seems it doesn't matter what the Pope does they are going to bash. Most f the posts have nothing to do with tweeting or any to the examples you gave, they just insult. It would be like an article saying Steven Hawkins sends his first tweet and a bunch of nasty jerks saying something like "shouldn't they and it a blink for him" or something equally menaless and mean sprited. CNN runs plenty of articles about the that lean very nicely to catholic abshing and lets face facts the atheist never miss the chance. This article just didn't.

      June 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Ed

      Sorry that last comment was to Noigiler

      June 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
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