A couple days ago, the leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, took another step closer to his followers using modern technology by opening his own Twitter account: @pontifex. In addition to this main account in which the posts will be published in English, content will also be published in Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, and Arabic on different accounts.
They have already announced that his first tweet will be on December 12th, coinciding with the celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The popular network was quickly filled with humorous speculations regarding the message that His Holy Father will send out. Within just 24 hours, among his accounts, he has accumulated more than 500,000 followers.
It’s not the first time he has reached out using the social network, as the official Vatican news channel was opened a couple years ago. He adds himself to the many other religious leaders that have opened accounts on Twitter, although he’s still far from reaching the 5 million followers that the Dalai Lama has. Others, like the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, have taken one step further by opening an Instagram account.
The church continues to fight for its survival by adapting to modern technology, and they’re not doing such a bad job. A recent study released a few months ago showed that Evangelist Christian leaders have a greater influence on the social network than do celebrities such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga, although in both cases their words are almost evangelical for many people.