Pope tweets for the first time to launch Vatican website

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Pope's first tweet
Vatican City, Jun 29: Pope Benedict XVI ushered in a new era in the Christian World when he used an iPad to personally type and send out his first tweet. The Vatican had confirmed the tweet, announcing the launch of news.va, a Vatican news and information site.

The pope tweeted, "Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI."

The new site Pope Benedict XVI tweeted about is meant to be a one-stop-location of news from the Vatican's various information source viz; Vatican Radio, Vatican Television, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the Holy See's press office and Fides, the Vatican's missionary news agency.

Vatican's first foray into social media happened in March 2011, when it unveiled a Facebook page dedicated to the upcoming beatification of Pope John Paul II.

Monsignor Paul Tighe, the No. 2 in the Vatican's social communications office, was quoted as saying, "What we found is that Facebook doesn't just share information, it creates community. People begin talking to each other and sharing ideas."

The new site, rolled out first in English and Italian and then other languages, unlike its current website -- www.vatican.va, will be more inclined to news. However, the website -- www.vatican.va, will remain as it gives basic information about the Holy See, key Vatican documents and offices, and papal activities.

Speaking about the newly launched site, Tighe said, "This is a beginning, in a simple way, of allowing the pope to interact with the questions of people and allowing people a direct form of access to the pope. With time we'll see how different initiatives can develop, but the commitment there is to interactivity, to engagement."

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