New Pope Chosen, @Pontifex Twitter Account ReactivatedBy: Josh Wolford - March 13, 2013
With a plume of white smoke, the papal conclave has just selected Jorge Mario Bergoglio, a cardinal from Argentina, as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. He will be called Pope Francis and is the first ever pope to hail from the Americas.
And the Vatican wasted no time in reviving the dormant @Pontifex Twitter account, which served as the official account for Pope Benedict during his final months in the papacy.
On March 1st, the @Pontifex Twitter account went “sede vacante,” or “vacant seat” upon the official resignation of Benedict. All of his 39 tweets were archived and the Twitter account was put into hibernation – not deleted like some speculated would be the case.
The last tweet ever sent out by pope Benedict read “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.”
And here’s the first tweet from the Vatican as they welcome a new leader:
HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM
— Pontifex (@Pontifex) March 13, 2013
According to the Vatican’s social communication head, it’ll be up to Pope Francis to determine whether he wants to continue to tweet his message to the account’s nearly 1.7 million followers.
“Obviously we leave all decisions to the new man. But we would hope that he might continue to use @pontifex, which would maintain continuity,” said Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Paul Tighe.