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Pope Benedict Tweets New Vatican News Site

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On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first tweet, which announced the creation of a new Vatican news portal that provides an aggregate of news content from the Holy See’s newspaper, radio, television and online outlets (www.news.va/en).

The Holy Father’s tweet was 117 characters: "Dear Friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

Thaddeus Jones, an official of the pontifical council who coordinated the creation of the portal, said the site gives all the news generated by the various information sources but will highlight the latest most important items of the day. A Catholic News Service story notes it features a list of the 10 most-read stories and offers links to many social network sites. Users can share content through Facebook, Twitter and email, Jones said.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said, while Pope Benedict may not appear to be a media-savvy pontiff, "in reality, with this pope Vatican communications have made enormous strides." The archbishop gave as an example the pope's reply when his advisers proposed an appearance on YouTube. According to the archbishop, the pope replied, "I want to be present wherever the people are found."

The Diocese of Raleigh will feature the new Vatican news portal on its Social Media page, accessed by a button on the Diocesan home page, in the coming weeks.

Above: Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, assists Pope Benedict XVI with the new Vatican news portal on an iPad at the Vatican June 28. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Rethe/Reuters)