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. Marie Kidman


    June 30, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
  2. Edward

    I can hardly wait to learn how he does on his first gamne of Warhawks.

    June 30, 2011 at 10:29 am |
  3. Rainer Braendlein

    "carnal desire" = longing for rule

    June 30, 2011 at 10:03 am |
  4. Rainer Braendlein

    Matthew 16: 18 (no other verse of the Bible has ever been more misinterpreted than this verse)

    "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

    Peter (and the other apostles) could imagine to rule together with Jesus (wasn't he the Lord?). That is the continuous threat for the Church to reach out for earthly glory. Thus Jesus had to destroy Peter's wrong imagination of a ruling Church (like the Roman Catholic Church). God's Church is a low Church, grounded in the rock Jesus Christ, who humbled himself, became man, and died on the cross for the sinners. The Lord suffered, hence his disciples will suffer, and not rule. The Lord was rejected, hence his disciples will be rejected.

    In conclusion: Jesus told Peter: "Peter you are Peter (with all your dreams of earthly glory), but my Church I will build on the humble Jesus Christ!"

    June 30, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • chief

      when people follow men and worship an organization that they use as a crutch as opposed to actually looking for the truth themsleves, you have people twisting verses in the Bible to accomodate their own motives

      June 30, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Indeed the pope is a successor of St. Peter. The pope is a successor of the carnal desires of St. Peter.

      At Pentecost St. Peter was "baptized" with the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) and forgot all his carnal desires. St. Peter forgot his carnal ego and accepted to be ruled by the humble Jesus. Thus Peter became humble too.

      May the pope futurely follow the transformed Peter, who is led by the Holy Spirit.

      I am aware that the pope will never acknowledge the transformed Peter, but I simply wish the best for the pope, regarding Judgement Day, when he will be judged by the majestic Jesus.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • chief

      nothing humber about a person who see's himself as the Vicar of Christ.... the supreme being of the church on earth..... so that puts me on the outs ....

      June 30, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Note: "carnal desire" = longing for rule

      June 30, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  5. Pfarer Ahmet

    Religion is scientificial.Read the Bible and you will see that it teaches Family Life,Rules in Community and a Glimpse about the Spirit and Soul.
    Look at any Countries Law,compare them with those in the Bible and you will see that they are taken from the Bible.So,if you are living by Law you are a Cristian or a Muslim.If you call yourself Atheist you will admit that you are a fool.

    June 30, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  6. True Friend

    God bless the pope, the man of God!

    June 30, 2011 at 8:59 am |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    The pope is a wolf in sheep's clothing!

    June 30, 2011 at 8:50 am |
    • Andy Wormhole

      He's not in sheep's clothing, but is wearing a dress and a pointy hat. He is a wolf in women's clothing.
      An evil man pretending to be the most virtuous. Satan as the head of the Church.
      Sheep don't wear clothes.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:08 am |
  8. Sarah

    I'm saddened by the anger,intolerance and overall nastiness. For those of us who profess to be Christians, we are not setting a good example of how Jesus would want us to conduct ourselves. I'm guilty of it too. Regardless of denomination.We all have that responsibility. You all know what I'm talking about

    June 30, 2011 at 1:29 am |
    • Actually . . .

      I think would best best to sat that this forum is really more of a pressure relief valve than an indication of how most of us actually act. I am atheist and can get pretty harsh in here, but I would almost never discuss religion out in public. When I talk with religious people, I am polite and do not challenge their beliefs. I patronize businesses of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and many others, and have friends amongst

      But I find it very troubling how often religion throws up a cold wall between people, how quickly people stop being fellow humans and it instead becomes "us versus them." I am very troubled at the things religious people have done, not only socially and politically, but personally. Do you know how many times my children have come home with a Bible or a Book of Mormon, that some friend's parent gave them after trying to convert them without my permission or even knowledge? Can you imagine their response if I had tried to indoctrinate their children in atheism, exactly as they had done to my children?

      So I come in here and blow off some frustration on the more ignorant ones. They come here looking for a fight too. This place is like roller derby – lots of bashing but nobody really gets hurt, and it means nothing. The one thing that does not happen here is people changing their opinions.

      So have some fun with it or go elsewhere.

      June 30, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • chief

      re sarah: i am saddenned by the denial, self serving, chest beating antics of those who rely solely on an organization that isn't Christian while they turn away from attrocities they have committed over centuries....

      June 30, 2011 at 9:48 am |
  9. True Friend

    Zelda on this page are fakes.

    June 29, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • Zelda

      Shame shame on you. It is you who is the liar. Show your true self.

      June 29, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  10. True Friend

    Catholics, read biographies of saints and missionaries without praying to them. They are really great.

    June 29, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
    • Zelda

      Catholics are confused and need to leave their idols. Their master is the Devil. We must pray for the Catholics.

      June 29, 2011 at 7:33 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      True Friend,

      When did the saints get ‘cut off’ from the body of Christ? Are you suggesting that they can no longer pray for us [the ones who still are on our journey], just because they have reached their destination?

      They never were cut off, they still are members of Christ’s body, and are still interested in seeing all souls reaching their destination. Ask them to pray for you…we need all the help we can get to not go astray.

      We are a family and family does not abandon any members…we are concerned for all….this is love of our neighbor…..Jesus Christ gave this as another commandment…love one another as I have loved you.

      How has Jesus loved us? He loved us before we were in our mother’s womb and He loves us in the womb and out of the womb! He did not stop loving the saints once they were in heaven. Saints in heaven are to imitate Jesus Christ’s love forever and continue caring and loving all members of His Body! They are building up the Body!

      We are family…a loving family…a kind of family that has a love that all would love to know ……..

      June 30, 2011 at 8:36 am |
    • True Friend

      Catholic Mom, hello. Good to see you. We must not talk to the deceased, even those who are in Paradise with Jesus. We must only pray to the Godhead(Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit), never to any creatures. Truth counts, not the loving feeling alone. Catholics must pray to God instead of any dead saints. God directly hears His children in Jesus' name. Talking to dead saints is wrong theology and wrong humility.

      June 30, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • chief

      re catholicmom : all that flowery garbage doesnt mean anything to someone that isnt catholic? as you have said to me, unless your catholic, you can not recieve the fullness of what God has to offer.... your nothing more than a private religious club who excludes people for their non-membership.

      June 30, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • CatholicMom

      Honestly, chief, the Catholic Church is not ‘private’! You can learn all about Her if you want and it is easy to receive the fullness of Faith from Her. No one is excluded except by their own wishes.
      You have a computer…check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Encyclopedia of the Catholic Church is also free on line. Google: Communion of Saints Catholic Encyclopedia. Or Communion of Saints Catechism of the Catholic Church.
      You will find it is very easy to understand…’not private’ but very open!
      Sorry, this posted on a different page also...............

      July 1, 2011 at 7:53 am |
    • CatholicMom

      True Friend,
      Good to see you, too!
      We must not talk to the deceased if you are doing so to conjure up spirits that will give you ‘power or knowledge,’ that is evil…that is why ‘crystal balls’, cards, tea leaves, weegee boards and the like are to be avoided. But talking to loved ones and asking for their prayers is what family does. Once a member of Christ’s Body dies, he does not lose his ability to love you still…with a Christ-like love. We are not expected to go this journey alone…we are not severed from our family. Saints in heaven are still family!

      July 1, 2011 at 8:04 am |
  11. frank

    Hopefully Anon pwns their site off the internet.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Andy Wormhole

      I hear they are not anyone's personal army. Websites are not their true vulnerability. Their unsustainable lies are their biggest vulnerability, and that is not something they can change by Papal decree, either.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:11 am |
    • Andy Wormhole

      Okay that is missing some words there....but I hope everyone can figure out what I meant.

      July 1, 2011 at 8:12 am |
  12. Zelda

    The Pope and Catholic church answer to Satan and his demons. They do the work of Satan.

    June 29, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • True Friend

      This Zelda is a fake.

      June 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • Zelda

      True Friend it is you that lies, follows me around and is obsessed with me. You are no friend of Zelda. You are false.

      June 29, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Adelina

      I'm Zelda's true friend. She and I are physically intimate.

      June 29, 2011 at 9:47 pm |
    • True Friend

      Atheists are disgusting.

      June 29, 2011 at 10:01 pm |
  13. Reality

    Another tweet for B16 and all his "3 B Syndromers" – i.e. Bred, Born and Brainwashed in Christianity:---–

    "John Hick, a noted British philosopher of religion, estimates that 95 percent of the people of the world owe their religious affiliation to an accident of birth.

    The faith of the vast majority of believers depends upon where they were born and when. Those born in Saudi Arabia will almost certainly be Moslems, and those born and raised in India will for the most part be Hindus. Nevertheless, the religion of millions of people can sometimes change abruptly in the face of major political and social upheavals. In the middle of the sixth century ce, virtually all the people of the Near East and Northern Africa, including Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Egypt were Christian. By the end of the following century, the people in these lands were largely Moslem, as a result of the militant spread of Islam.

    The Situation Today

    Barring military conquest, conversion to a faith other than that of one’s birth is rare. Some Jews, Moslems, and Hindus do convert to Christianity, but not often. Similarly, it is not common for Christians to become Moslems or Jews. Most people are satisfied that their own faith is the true one or at least good enough to satisfy their religious and emotional needs. Had St. Augustine or St. Thomas Aquinas been born in Mecca at the start of the present century, the chances are that they would not have been Christians but loyal followers of the prophet Mohammed. " – J. Somerville

    It is very disturbing that religious narrow- mindedness, intolerance, violence and hatred continues unabated due to radomness of birth. Maybe just maybe if this fact would be published on the first page of every newspaper every day, that we would finally realize the significant stupidity of all religions.

    June 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  14. The good people, atheist and religious

    It is the religious and non-religious that do good works and bad ones.

    No doubt Christianity can be greedy. I suggest we look at the vatican castle, their billion dollar yacht and the popes gold lined wardrobe for a moment. Just like jesus? Or is this simply hypocritical. The most recent scandal of child abuse, the church denies the child victim and tries to play in a victims role now? How sad. And saying others did it too? They blamed the gays for the abuses? Yet the worst abuse was the cover ups. Who covered it up? We know the popes, bishops and cardinals did. Is this how jesus would have reacted? Wouldn't he have helped the child rather than deny the child, as the church does to protect its own reputation over the harm of child? Deflecting and doing nothing is as evil as you meaning it. Your crimes are more important, you meant them and didn’t and don’t care.

    It's what we do, not what we say. When religions stop calling others sinners, stop blaming others and stop pretending they are the only truth, then we might change.

    Let the good people, religious and atheists, carve this world.

    June 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  15. WhatWhatWhat?

    That geezer is one of the ugliest, scariest people I have ever seen. He looks to me like he's eye-balling little boys. The Catholic delusion is one of the worst.

    June 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
    • Pictures neve lie

      I still say Popey looks like a vampire ready to lauch into the neck of the nearest bystander in that picture.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  16. Pope On A Rope Soap

    Get your Pope On A Rope Soap today. Put the pope everywhere that you know he wants to go.

    June 29, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    Josphes Ratzinger seems to be an lovable man, but he holds an office, which is absolutely corrupt.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • HelpNewYorkExposePedos

      He is a large part of the corruption. He demanded bishops deny victims of abuse.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The Italian word for pope is papa (daddy). Indeed, up to Gregory the Great (540-604) the papas were lovable men. However 602 the criminal Phokas became Roman emperor. After Gregory the Gr. had died, Phokas established the wicked papacy. Still Gregory the Great had rejected papacy (he was called pope, but that really meant dear daddy and not bishop of all bishops). Shortly after Gregory the Great's death Phokas made the see of Rome to the highest see on earth and the Roman bishop became bishop of all bishop and head of the worldwide Church. "Bishop of all bishops" is an abomination in God's eyes, because Christ is actually the head of the bishops and the Church.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      The wicked emperor Phokas, who established wicked papacy, was assassinated in 610 after Christ. Guess, when Muhammad started to preach the Islam. Answer: 610 after Christ. Thus papacy and Islam were established at the same time (historically seen, the same second). That is extremly interesting. Maybe Muhammad had made some bad experiences with the papal Roman empire under the horrible rule of the emperor Phokas. Of course officially Phokas was called a Christian. It is really possible that the "Christian" Phokas commited a lot of crimes in Arabia and Muhammad draw his negative conclusions. Muhammed saw himself forced to invent and anti-papal religion and made-up the Koran.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      On the website of the German newspaper "Die Zeit" you can see the pope in a video twittering and you can see people kneeling down before him.

      There is (are) only one (or three), worthy that people kneel down before him (them): The triune God.

      Obviously the pope is mad. He thinks of himself to be God.

      June 29, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Its About Good People, and that includes

      atheists. Keep in mind that it is good people, not religions, that do good works, and that includes atheists equally. If good people didn't place these popes and religions in place, it would be inquisitions time after time. The popes act as dictators, no different except they have to tone it down thanks to good people keeping them in place.

      June 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Its About Good People, and that includes

      There are at least three enemies of mankind: Atheism (Paganism), Papacy and Islam!

      June 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm |
    • Its About Good People, and that includes

      I guess the good people I mentioned tamed xtianity. Then again, that's only in the free world.

      Your post is foolish, Rainer. Does your religion promote egotism? What I stated was fact. If you don’t like the truth, then go ahead and continue with your blinders on.

      You’d make a good follower though. The rest will continue leading, making this world a good place.

      June 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • The xtians fooled again..

      Matthew 24:33-34
      King James Version (KJV)

      33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

      34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

      ______________ Looks like all things pass some time ago, or he lied. 'cause that generation is long dead. And did jesus same Christianity was the only way? Or did man create Christianity to claim a jesus market? Anyway, it's all just primitive man’s writings. Nothing more and nothing less.

      And man used jesus to join others with purpose to murder, the inquisition and, today, to deny children harmed.

      June 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Evolved DNA

      rainer... religion is, and always has been the enemy of human beings. It allows and glorifies ignorance in order to maintain faith.

      June 29, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • chief

      the pope being the Vicar of Christ puts it all in perspective..... BLASPHEMY

      June 30, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Evolved DNA

      Chief.. Only your religious affiliation assumes the pope is anything special, the Muslims would say you blaspheme against their god... no hope for human beings until you understand the delusions you are all under.

      June 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  18. Rob

    Ok the brittle old pope pushed send on a legal site for "creepers" to move his command center for sheep to another location, alright no big deal there. People bringing up Hitler to show an evil side of religion true Hitler was a Catholic but he was a Jew but embraced his fathers religion over his mothers. Then bringing up the pedophilia in the Catholic church granted not all crimes have occurred in the Catholic churches but, Catholics seem to get caught more than any one else. True the ministers should loose their license to practice religion over these crimes but you do not really need a license to practice religion cause Jesus didn't need one so why should people of the modern age. Plus people who stand by their religion badger off their questions of the faith by stating your a knock off of Catholicism as they say "Oh your a Protestant or Lutheran or (insert another christian faith here)" Well what makes Catholicism the right religion? because your little book that says Holy Bible that you can get anywhere and for a dollar says so. I'm surprised that no one brought up the Crusades at this point but that still may occur. Another thing about the bible who says our version of the bible is right be cause a man with a funny hat says so. Give me a break, I would laugh if there is an afterlife and there was Muhammad or Yahweh standing at the gates and say "I seen that you worshipped Jesus if you repent now and love me I'll let you into paradise." I would laugh four times harder if it was Lucifer at the top being that he was god's most beautiful angel. Now then since that was said "Trolls" have fun

    June 29, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • test


      June 30, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • test


      June 30, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • test


      June 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
    • test


      June 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • test


      June 30, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • Andy Wormhole

      I will have to test these things over time, O Mystical Test Teacher! But I will do my best! I already found antics to be antics!
      How am I doing?

      July 1, 2011 at 8:14 am |
  19. HelpNewYorkExposePedos

    Please help expose the child abusers and those who cover it up, your voice is all we need. The catholic church is lobbying to stop this law. Senator John Defransisco, a catholic who gave a pedobishop a plaque praising him and paid for with our tax dollar, held it up in committee.


    June 29, 2011 at 11:24 am |
  20. No video please

    Please click 'Report abuse" to the bottom of the video below.

    June 29, 2011 at 11:20 am |
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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.