The Vatican is continuing to take steps to pull itself into the 21st century, as they have announced the launch of a brand new Vatican news site with a Tweet.
Not just any Tweet, but the first official Tweet from the top dawg, Pope Benedict XVI himself.
The Tweet announces the launch of news.va, The Vatican's online news presence. The site contains breaking Vatican news, Vatican radio, world news, world church news and events. The Tweet was sent by Pope Benedict XVI on a shiny new iPad after he was given a quick tour of the new site on the device.
The Tweet comes from the Vatican news account, @news_va_en. Here is the Pope's tweet:
http://t.co/fVHpS9y Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVIDear Friends, I just launched
Here's a video of Benedict's first Tweet. It doesn't look like he is a veteran tablet user, but he gets the job done -
With many long-standing religious organizations, being modern and staying current is always a challenge. This is possibly most true for the Catholic Church. In recent years, the Vatican has attempted in numerous ways to synch the Church with the internet and social media.
In 2005, the Vatican launched its own YouTube Channel where viewers can see clips from the mass, Vatican news, as well as clips from ceremonies like the recent beautification of John Paul II.
Last month, the Vatican held a blogger summit where they encouraged Catholic bloggers to organize themselves in the same way other catholic media does. At that summit, they announced the aforementioned news.va site that launched yesterday. Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi also had this to say about the Pope back in May -
"Pope Benedict XVI is a person who does not Tweet of have a personal blog, he is very attentive and knows well what is happening in the world." He also said that he supports the Vatican's efforts to expand into the technology sphere.
Now that Benedict has sent his first Tweet, will that open the door for his full participation in all things social media? I'm sure it wouldn't take long for him to grab the mayorship of the Vatican Palace on Foursquare.
Oh, and by the way, Jesus had this to say on Twitter about the Pope's historic Tweet -
Nah, I'm not mad that the Pope's first tweet wasn't at me. I haven't spoken with a Pope in quite some time.