June 30, 2011

Vatican website launched with Pope’s first tweet

by Jan Harris

His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI spread the word about the launch of the Vatican’s website with the first ever papal tweet.

The new online news service, News.va, brings together information from various Vatican channels of communication, including print, TV, radio and Internet.

Pope Benedict announced the service with the following tweet: ‘Dear friends, I just launched [the website]. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.’

The video of the pontiff’s first tweet was uploaded to YouTube.

While Pope Benedict is obviously embracing technology and all the advantages it offers, he recently warned over the dangers of the Internet.

In his message for the Roman Catholic observance of the 45th World Communications Day he warned that the virtual world could harm day-to-day interactions in the real world.

He asked: “Who is my ‘neighbour’ in this new world?”

“Does the danger exist that we may be less present to those whom we encounter in our everyday life?

“Is there is a risk of being more distracted because our attention is fragmented and absorbed in a world ‘other’ than the one in which we live?”

“It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives.”

Today, a day after the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, it seems that Pope Benedict he still has his finger very much on the pulse of social change in the world, as well as on the latest technology.

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