#HabemusPapam – @Pontifex Tweets
"And now, the Holy Father will send his first tweet"....
As the message read in English:
In the minutes surrounding the launch, the eight language feeds for the PopeTweets surpassed a combined million followers, two-thirds of whom have signed onto the English-speaking account.
Three questions submitted to Benedict using the tag #AskPontifex were to be released and answered this afternoon.
Notably, among other top prelates present for this morning's General Audience was Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the church's first red-hat to set up a blog shortly after his 2006 elevation, and now likewise a member of the Twitterverse @CardinalSean.
Along with several other Stateside prelates – and another Eminent Technophile, Toronto's Cardinal Thomas Collins – the Capuchin is in Rome for the Ecclesia in America conference arranged by the Knights of Columbus to mark today's 15th anniversary of the closing of the 1997 Synod for this continent. (Another of the US delegation is Lincoln's freshly-installed and now tweeting @bishop_conley.)
And for the backdrop, as B16 noted to even the Italian pilgrims on-hand, "Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the New Evangelization."
That one of the lay staff flanking the @Pontifex wore a scarf bearing the image of Juan Diego's tilma while a Mexican group in the crowd sang "La Guadalupana" as Benedict thanked his helpers after tapping the iPad all served to perfectly round out the moment.
SVILUPPO: Shortly before 1pm in Rome (7am Eastern), the first question and answer rolled out....
Its sender going unnamed, the query asked "How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?"
Benedict's reply: "By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need."
At 3pm Rome (9am ET), the second PopeTweet Q&A was posted – this time, the questioner asked "How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?
Taking up 133 characters, @Pontifex replied that "We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful."
PHOTOS: L'Osservatore Romano(1), Reuters(2); VIDEO: The Holy See/Vatican Player