Church

Pope Launches News.VA

Reuters Pictures – A woman checks the new Vatican portal on an iPad device in Rome June 28, 2011. Pope Benedict XVI will launch the site, a news information portal that aggregates the Vatican’s various media into a one-stop site for all things papal, on Wednesday, the 60th anniversary of his ordination into the priesthood.

HTOverheard in the Sacristy

And he launched it with a historic Tweet:

Twitter welcomed a new user Tuesday – one who already has more than one billion followers.

Pope Benedict XVI used Twitter to announce the launch of a new Vatican website, timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

The website, News.va, showed a photo of the pope with what appeared to be an iPad.

“The pope sent it, but it was prepared for him,” Benedict’s spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told CNN. “The tablet was presented to him. He did the click and sent the tweet.”

It was the pope’s first tweet, Lombardi confirmed.

“Dear Friends, I just launched http://t.co/fVHpS9y Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI,” the message said.

The pope himself may be new to Twitter, but the Vatican has been reasonably web-savvy for years, including launching an iPhone app and a Facebook page for the beatification of Pope John Paul II this year.

Benedict’s tweet came on the English news feed for the Vatican, @news_va_en

Vatican News.VA is here. There’s a lot to check out!

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