Pope to quit Twitter after stepping down

February 23, 2013
Pope Benedict XVI clicks on a tablet to send his first twitter message during his weekly general audience on December 12, 2012 at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican. The account, which has more than two million followers in nine languages, will close next week when Benedict XVI leaves office.

The pope's official Twitter account, which has more than two million followers in nine languages, will close next week when Benedict XVI leaves office, Vatican Radio said Friday.

After a high-profile on December 12 under the name @pontifex, the pontiff's online musings quickly attracted over 1.5 million followers in English. Around a million other users of the site subscribe to his feeds in Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Polish, Arab and even Latin and a Chinese account had been planned.

"It seemed unimaginable one could continue to use a that is so popular and powerful during the Sede Vacante (Vacant Seat) period," Vatican Radio said.

The leader of the world's 1.2 billion is expected to post his final on February 27, when he will bid a farewell to ordinary Catholics at a general audience in St Peter's Square.

The account will then be closed on February 28 when Benedict formally steps down as pope, according to .

No clear favourite has emerged yet to succeed Benedict but several cardinals tipped as possible candidates, including American Timothy Dolan, Odilo Scherer from Brazil and Gianfranco Ravasi and Angelo Scola from Italy, are active Twitter users within the Church.

Benedict's bold move to become the first pope to join the Twittersphere sparked heated debate at the Vatican and within the Church. Supporters said it was a useful way to reach a younger generation, but some observers were dismayed to see that his pious posts invited a stream of mockery.

Explore further: Vatican to launch Internet news portal next week

Related Stories

Vatican to launch Internet news portal next week

June 25, 2011

(AP) -- The Vatican is taking a leap into the world of new media next week with the launch of a news information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put online with a papal click.

Pope may go online to launch Vatican news portal

June 27, 2011

(AP) -- The Vatican, whose communications problems are no secret, is taking a leap into the world of new media with the launch next week of a news information portal that Pope Benedict XVI himself may put online with a papal ...

Pope to join celebs, presidents with Twitter feed

November 8, 2012

(AP)—He already has a billion followers. Now, Pope Benedict XVI will join the Twitter-sphere, tweeting from a personal account along with the world's celebrities, leaders and ordinary folk.

Pope draws half a million Twitter followers

December 4, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI boasted hundreds of thousands of followers on his new Twitter account on Tuesday—just a day after it was unveiled and more than a week before any actual tweets appear.

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Not another new phone! But Nextbit's Robin is smarter

September 2, 2015

San Francisco-based Nextbit wants you to meet Robin, which they consider as the smarter smartphone. Their premise is that no one is making a smart smartphone; when you get so big it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.