#POPE Tweets for the first time
The Holy Father uses twitter to connect
Pope Benedict XVI sending his first 'Tweet' to the world.
Already, Pope Benedict XVI has his own YouTube channel, MySpace, and Facebook pages. Now, the Pontiff can add twitter to his resume. Targeting the online crowd, the Pope was given a tutorial on how to use the iPad and amid much attention, he gently tapped out his first tweet in English. Within a few hours the Pope had 15,000 followers.
While the tweet specifically promotes a new Vatican-based news service, it is part of a broader effort to connect the Pope with the youth, who tend to make connections online instead of through more traditional means.
This matter is of great import to the church which is engaged in a "New Evangelization" of its members and a major new missionary thrust. Those identified with the religion of Islam have recently overtaken those identified with Catholic Christianity. Reaching out to young members while gaining new ones is at the heart of the missionary mandate of the Catholic Church.
The church has been somewhat slow to adopt new technologies in a wholesale manner, being wary of their use and impact on people as a some kind of substitute for healthy human relationships. The Catholic Church has been seeking ways to engage the youth while keeping a strong connection to older members who may be less comfortable or confident with newer communications technologies.
Some resistance to social networking and other online venues still remains among some bishops of the church, but that resistance is slowly fading as they realize the value of connecting with the church's youth by going where the youth are, which in this case is online. In addition, the mission of the Church REQUIRES the use of communications technologies and always has.
However, no mistake should be made that the online realm can soemhow replace the physical presence of the church as the communion of the faithful, a relational reality. Last year, an I-Phone app which helps the faithful to prepare for the Sacrament of Confession (or Reconciliation) was mistakenly reported by ill informed journalists as offering some kind of "substitute" for the Sacrament.
The report was absolutely false! Any reporter who had checked their sources or bothered to even try to understand the Catholic faith would not have reported it.
The Church has always encouraged the use of communications technologies and now strongly embraces the use of the world wide web.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Pope, #POPE, twitter, iPad, youth, internet, world wide web
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