Catholic Church Leaders Utilizing Twitter
Pope Benedict XVI is an avid believer in the use of technology to communicate with people through the traditional forms of broadcast and print media, but also through the use of social networking tools. The Holy Father has a Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pope-Benedict-XVI/111713915507379, and from time to time uses Twitter. His first 140-character Tweet was sent June 29, 2011, when he introduced the Vatican’s new website, News.va. While the tweet was prepared for him, Pope Benedict sent it on his iPad. The Holy Father is encouraging all bishops to utilize the technology.
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge is also a believer in the use of social media as a way of staying in touch with the faithful. The Diocese of Raleigh has a Facebook and a Twitter account and Bishop Burbidge has a Twitter page. In January 2011, the Bishop began tweeting and, in the course of the last eleven months, has issued almost 300 Tweets. Many are inspirational messages, such as his most recent on Christmas Eve, “Will pray at the Christmas Masses I celebrate for all the faithful in our wonderful Diocese asking Our Savior to bless you with His peace.”
Bishop Burbidge also uses Twitter to help call attention to important Masses and events in the Diocese. During a visit to Pope John Paul II High School in Greenville, he noted to students that he tweets. Several wondered whether the Bishop actually tweeted or had a staff member do it on his behalf. The Bishop tapped out a Tweet commenting on his visit to the school, which staff members were then able to show the students.
In August, Bishop Burbidge helped keep Diocesan faithful informed about the World Youth Day Pilgrimage to Madrid by sending out daily Tweets, embedding photos from the various events.
If you would like to follow Bishop Burbidge, you can access his Tweets @BishopBurbidge. If you are not on Twitter, you can receive them via SMS by texting follow BishopBurbidge to 40404.
View Bishop Burbidge’s Tweets since January 16, 2011. (Click on Show More at the bottom of each page.)
You can also follow the Diocese of Raleigh @raleighdiocese and the Diocesan Vocations Office @RaleighVocare.