The Pope Retweeted Me: 40 Days of Lent in 140 Characters

Have you tweeted the Pope lately? Well, you certainly could.

Prior to Ash Wednesday, the Vatican Radio announced that Pope Benedict XVI will tweet pieces of his daily papal message during the Lenten season from his very own Lenten Twitter handle, @Pope2YouVatican, in an effort to reach millennials.

“Many young people no longer keep the Lenten season in any special way – that’s why the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has come up with a new idea to focus hearts and minds on the challenges contained in Pope Benedict’s Lenten message for 2012,” said Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

We’re the first generation in existence that has been raised with such prevalent technology, social media and technological conveniences. As such, we use our phones for the most absurd things, from filing taxes to weight loss, and even in mass or church services and the confessional! So, why wouldn’t the Pope try to reach us via that same mean of communication? Surely, it’s only natural.

And for the amount of millennial Catholics who disregard the Lenten season, kudos to Pope Benedict XVI to approaching us in a way that we would hear, and most importantly, listen to his gravely important message.

Will we see more of this?

“Yes, I think a lot of attention is being given to the idea of seeing Twitter as a channel that could allow for a more direct and immediate way of sharing the nucleus of the Pope’s thoughts on various occasions, so I don’t think it’ll be confined to Lent,” said Msgr. Tighe.

And the conversation doesn’t end there. As Mashable reported, The Vatican has launched a YouTube Channel, iPhone app and web portal during Benedict XVI’s papacy.

The Vatican, @News_VA_En, currently has 81,491 followers; as the Pope’s Lenten Twitter handle, @Pope2YouVatican, has earned 16,123, to date.

“Many of the key Gospel ideas are readily rendered in just 140 characters,” added Msgr. Tighe.

Was the Bible written to be tweeted? That, we don’t know. But, after all, the Ten Commandments are short, succinct messages. Certainly tweetable, at that.

What’s next? Who knows.

Ashleigh Rainko I’m not a drama queen; life's more exciting with exaggeration. I’m not high maintenance; I just know what I want. Mobile apps, innovation, reinvention – and generally all technology – never cease to amaze me. I’m a PR pro, iPhone addict, UMich grad, Jackie O-aspiring metro-Detroit native, who has the gritty, true perspective on our millennial culture. And while you’ll likely find me wearing seersucker, you can feel free to take me seriously.

View all posts by Ashleigh Rainko

3 Responses to “The Pope Retweeted Me: 40 Days of Lent in 140 Characters”

  1. Ashleigh

    Hey Camille – thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed. Have you been following Pope Benedict’s tweets? Would love to hear your thoughts!

  2. Lauren

    Ashleigh, first, awesome post! And second, I do follow the Pope’s tweets. I think that the Catholic church as a whole needs to embrace social media. Far too often the Church is seen as an organization that is becoming obsolete as they are not changing with the times. While I can agree with that to an extent, I think it is important for people to realize that the Church isn’t supposed to change with the times. Their fundamental beliefs and teaching will never change — that is something truly wonderful about any deep rooted and established religion, we believe what we believe and will continue to believe it no matter what the outsiders, and even some of our own, think. What does need to change and continuously evolve is how the Church (whether it be the Catholic church or any other religion) communicates and engages it’s people. I am heavily involved in my parish at home and love doing all that I do. One thing that I pushed and pushed for was for them to get a Facebook page to communicate with the younger population. I, like many others, get my news from the web – it is where I read the paper, keep in touch with people and learn about what is going on. If you want me to know what is going on with you, then you need to come to where I am, I will not go searching out everything. I think especially having the Pope on Twitter is a huge step in the right direction to engaging a generation of people who are overwhelmed with information in their face, all day, every day. If the Pope can show us that he is willing to come to where we are, why not go to where he is too?


Leave a Reply