Apparently, on December 3, the Holy See Press Office will hold a press conference announcing the Pope’s official entry into the Twitterverse. From the Vatican Information Service:
Vatican City, 29 November 2012 (VIS) – Benedict XVI will be present on Twitter. All related information will be reported on Monday 3 December at a press conference to be held in the Holy See Press Office, with the participation of Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the same dicastery, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of the Holy See Press Office, Professor Gian Maria Vian, editor of “L'Osservatore Romano”, and Greg Burke, Media Advisor to the Secretariat of State. The Pope has already used the 140 character “tweet” format when, in June 2011, he launched the Vatican information portal www.news.va., with the words: “Dear friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI”.
According to Whispers in the Loggia, Twitter’s director of social innovation, Claire Diaz Ortiz, will be present at the press conference. I find this interesting, because while many would say the Church is ‘out of touch’ with the modern world/social media/etc., I think Ortiz’ presence at the press conference can also be construed as a sign that the sphere of social media has a thing or two to learn from the Catholic Church—especially from Pope Benedict.
He will be assisting in ‘making holy’ the Twittersphere, hopefully, but don’t expect an @reply from the Pope himself! I’m hoping his account will be a model for other high-ranking Catholic figures—who should be less like @SHAQ or other celebrities (who seem to use social media to have fun, make fun, and promote themselves, thus making them less interesting figures), and should be more reserved.