Okay, okay – that second part isn’t true.
However, if you did put the brakes on your dedicated Twittering for Lent, you may miss out on some sweet Catholic action: the Vatican will be tweeting out themes from the Pope’s Lenten message throughout the forty day period of self-abnegation.
According to Vatican Radio, the tweets began a couple of days ago on Ash Wednesday and will continue throughout Lent. The Pope will be using a Twitter handle, @Pope2YouVatican, that sounds more like a take-out diner for Hail Marys than platform for sharing sermons, but whatever. Here’s what the Pope has chucked into Twitter’s offering plate so far.
“Let us be concerned for each other,
to stir a response in love and good works” (Heb 10:24) #Lent #Pope2You
The tweets appear to come in a linguistic variety, posted in English, Italian, Spanish, German, and French.
Over the next couple of months the Twitter account will also be sharing excerpts from other papal speeches. Monsignor Paul Tighe, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, dismissed any question as to whether this was a publicity stunt that could possibly “dumb down” the Church’s message. Tighe cleverly noted, “Many of the key Gospel ideas are readily rendered in just 140 characters.”
Tighe went on to say that the purpose of using Twitter is “to provoke people’s interest and to invite them then to follow the message and read the text.”
Last year, much pomp ensued as the Pope tweeted out his first message. Watch as His Holiness ambles into the 21st Century behind the driving wheel of an iPad.
Lets just hope that for the sake of pedestrians everywhere that His Holiness doesn’t Tweet while cruising in that Popemobile.