Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Pope's Twitter account to fall silent with resignation

English
© ANSA

Rome, February 19 - Pope Benedict XVI's
twitter handle, @pontifex, will be closed when the pontiff steps
down on February 28, and its eight-language tweets will grind to
a halt.
The Pope's Twitter feed, launched December 12, is followed
by 2.5 million people across the globe.
Benedict's tweets are written in Italian, Spanish, German,
Arabic, English and other languages, including Latin.
There is no historical precedent, not only for the
resignation of a pope in modern times, but what is to be done
with the pope's Twitter account.
However, Vatican sources say that Benedict will send his
last tweet on February 28, his final day as pontiff before he
departs from the Vatican by helicopter for Castel Gandolfo
outside Rome.
Apart from traditional media including Vatican Radio,
Vatican Television, the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano,
and the Holy See's press office, the Catholic Church has been
using social media such as Facebook, blogs and Twitter in recent
years.
While the pope's handle did not have his name on it to keep
it deliberately non-customized, it is inextricably linked to
Benedict both as an individual and as head of the Church.
As Pope Benedict XVI headed into his penultimate general
audience Wednesday in the Paul VI Hall of the Vatican, he sent
out a quick tweet.
"In the time we begin Lent, let us renew our commitment to
conversion by giving more space to God".
The conclave of cardinals who will gather in the Vatican to
choose the pope's successor in mid-March will not only have
telephones and mobile phones silenced, for social-media savvy
clergy, their Twitter and Facebook accounts will be muzzled as
well.
Among those with an active social media following are
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical
Council for Culture and the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo
Scola - both considered contenders for the papacy.
Not a tweet will be heard from behind the Vatican walls
until the new pope is elected and he decides how to pursue
Benedict's social media legacy.

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