Social Media World Stunned by Pope Benedict’s Resignation, Twitter Silence

On Monday, the world awakened to news that Pope Benedict XVI has become the first pontiff to resign since the 15th century. But the social media community was, …

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On Monday, the world awakened to news that Pope Benedict XVI has become the first pontiff to resign since the 15th century.

But the social media community was, it seemed, almost as stunned by the fact that the Pope’s massive Twitter base wasn’t informed of the decision. That is, while the Vatican make a spectacle of the Pope’s decision to join Twitter some time again, no word of the resignation was mentioned on the Pope’s official Twitter page.

“In an attempt to appear more in touch with Roman Catholics, the Vatican established Twitter accounts for the pope last December 12th,” says David Kroll of Forbes. “His main English account, @Pontifex, has over 1.5 million followers as of this posting, a remarkable number for someone who has only posted 34 tweets, seven of which came on his opening day barrage.”

The 85-year-old Pope cited health reasons for his decision to step down, which will take place February 28.

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    While Pope Benedict XVI was the first tweeting pope, it was his predecessor, John Paul II, who was a natural at social media.
    As far back as 2002, John Paul II extolled the virtues of the Internet, proclaiming “The Internet can offer magnificent opportunities for evangelization if used with competence and a clear awareness of its strengths and weaknesses. Above all, by providing information and stirring interest it makes possible an initial encounter with the Christian message.”
    “Providing information and stirring interest.” That, my friends, is the secret to online communication. http://ow.ly/hH8th