How a tweet from the Pope originates

2013-01-02 L’Osservatore Romano

“When we entrust ourselves to the Lord completely, everything changes. We are children of a Father who loves us, and never leaves us”.  Benedict XVI sent this Tweet on Wednesday, 2 January. The tweets resume at the General Audiences.   The first was on 12 December, a date for history, marked by the Pope's debut with a Tweet that many followed: “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”.  This use of the new means of communication, with the handle @pontifex, was an action explained indirectly during the catechesis that day.  Therein the Holy Father emphasized that “God did not take himself away from the world, he is not absent, he has not left us to ourselves, but comes to meet our needs in various ways that we must learn to discern”.

 “May Our Lord bless you and watch over you in the new year”, as we read in the tweet on 1 January, which recalls the Hebrew Scriptures, both directly, “May the Lord bless you and watch over you” (Num 6:24), and indirectly, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us” (Ps 67).

In an interview with “Tgcom24” [an Italian news source] Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke on how Benedict XVI's tweets come about.  “The appointed departments of the Secretariat of State prepare a text which the Pope then must approve.  We believe and strongly desire that the tweets be truly from Benedict XVI”, said Archbishop Celli.  Responding to the questions of Federico Novella and Fabio Marchese Ragona, the Archbishop stressed that “the Pope attends to the texts”.  Archbishop Celli did not hide that the comments on the tweets have not always been positive. “A bit of everything came in.  We have received the most beautiful messages from all ages of young people, and with differing content – at times joking, offensive and critical messages too; but, for us who live in these circumstances, it was no surprise, I confess.  We were fully aware of what would happen: when the Pope wishes to enter into dialogue with modern man and puts himself on that level, there are risks to be taken and borne”.