For the first time in nearly 600 years, a Pope will resign. Pope Benedict announced Monday that he will step down due to his age and health affecting his strength. He is now 85.
Pope Benedict is a trailblazer it seems, achieving many firsts during his time in the Vatican. On Dec. 12, he became the first Pope to join Twitter (@Pontifex). People now have the chance to ask Benedict XVI questions using the hashtag #AskPontifex.
Many spiritual and religious leaders have joined Twitter over the past few years, making themselves and their words more accessible than ever before. Since the Pope will resign Feb.28, it will be interesting to see how the Vatican responds to social media coverage and queries.
Just with today’s announcement, @Pontifex has gained more than 21,000 new followers. The Vatican controls various accounts for the Pope in different languages and curates the messages to sort which ones to which he should respond.
The issue is who will take over next and how will they utilize social media. It seems even with the un-engaging tweets from the Pope, he is still giving many celebrities and social stars a run for their money. Will the new prelate be as social online? How will the Vatican make the transition?