Pope Benedict XVI’s Twitter Name Is @Pontifex

With a five-figure following already, @Pontifex is the Vatican’s attempt to reach out to young people.

Pope Benedict XVI’s Twitter Name Is @Pontifex

@Pontifex. That’s the handle Pope Benedict XVI will be tweeting from, it has been announced (not, strangely enough, on the promised new media landscape of Twitter, but rather on a common news site). The head of the Catholic church has already garnered some 20,000-plus followers, although he is only following six people–all different language versions of himself (which throws up some gnarly ecumenical questions, if you are that way inclined).

To the untrained ear, the name sounds like either a Romanian chemicals company or a trademark for Kevlar-reinforced stockings. Its literal translation from the Latin means “bridge-builder,” but in Roman times the phrase was used for the chief priest.

The Pontiff’s first Twitter task will be a Q&A session on December 12, where he will attempt to explain transubstantiation in 140 characters or less. The object of the exercise, it seems is to bring His Holiness closer to the more youthful lambs in his Roman Catholic flock. It is a great shame that he did not consider the medium of texting in order to hurl out Emoji doves to the deserved and flaming devils to the sinful among us.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.

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