Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

Pope Benedictweet the First

Published on 11 February 2013
Updated on 05 April 2024

When I graduated the Diplo’s crash course on social media, despite the enthusiasm and didactic skills of the tutors, I was quite skeptical about the usefulness of tweets.

First, I thought that Twitter may be a good place for poets to post haiku. A tweet can comfortably host two haiku. But then I realized that in order to write a haiku one needs talent, not just an account. Unfortunately, the amount of poetic talent available in and out of the Net, is not sufficient at all for the overcrowded world of Twitter.

Then I remembered the old quotation (so popular that people practically do not know any longer to whom to attribute it): “we are learning more and more about less and less until we will finally know everything about nothing”.

And I said to myself that the only conclusion I had to take with me was that “we are communicating with more and more people, about more and more topics, using less and less words until we will finally communicate with everybody about everything by not using any words at all . “ (Nota bene:  If this saying become also popular, you of all people, will remember to whom to attribute it, won’t you?)

Pope publishes first post 010Soon after, I learned that Pope Benedict XVI embraced the concise world of tweets. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the holy man on TV, tweeting in front of the camera, with a big smile on his face, and the air of a teenager playing his first computer game.

First, I thought that indeed it was the end of the world (the first papal tweet was launched ubi et orbi on 12 December 2012). Then, I thought he had a divine revelation (something that one may expect from a Pope).  Forgotten be the old days when the popes had to write highly sophisticated encyclicals to disseminate the word of God. Get to the point and people will read the tweet rather than the Bible. As I am a believer, I opened immediately a twitter account of my own.

Now I learn that Pope Benedict XVI resigned. We do not know whether the new service of tweeting has anything to do with this decision. Maybe it was an exhaustive work to squeeze the faith into the Procrustean bed of tweets and then to check on the responses of the 15,524,595 followers. We will never know.

What we know, though, is that he did not announce his resignation on his official twitter account. So, I have doubts, again. After all, one does not need more than a tweet for a resignation: “I, Benedict XVI, by the grace of God, hereby submit my resignation from the Office of Pope, for personal reasons, effective as from today.”

Historians will determine what has been the spiritual heritage of Pope Benedict XVI. This is their business. For us, he will remain, truly ours, Pope Benedictweet I.

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