Earlier this month, the Vatican revealed the Pope's official Twitter account, @pontifex -- an attempt to engage with, among other people, some of the more than a billion Catholics around the world. Early this morning, that account began tweeting.
This was the pope's first tweet, which doubled as a digital blessing:
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.-- Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
The reactions to that first tweet varied:
@pontifex God bless you Papa-- Eileen Blackwell (@12meadow) December 12, 2012
@pontifex Greetings, Trifelge Putinard. Our humble reverences are with you in your calufrijulous extriplation. Glory, oh Bright One.-- Anemone of the State (@x7o) December 12, 2012
@pontifex right on bro-- rsidney (@rdotsidney) December 12, 2012
The Pope's message itself was, you'll note, delivered in English, rather than Latin or Italian or German or Spanish or ... anything else. While the @pontifex account uses English, seven other accounts -- @pontifex_de (German), @pontifex_es (Spanish), @pontifex_pt (Portuguese), @pontifex_pl (Polish), @pontifex_il (Italian), @pontifex_fr (French), and @pontifex_ar (Arabic) -- tweet in seven other languages. And, this morning, the Pope delivered the same sentiment of friendship and gratitude in each of those languages.