Pope Francis Tweets

I saw a tweet from Pope Francis on my Twitter feed this morning. A missive from the Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God – it was his third tweet apparently and has been retweeted thousands of times already.

social media and the vatican

A humble and thoughtful sentiment from someone we are being told is a simple and humble person.  So I clicked to expand it and see what sort of responses the Pope, head of the wealthiest and most influential organizations on the planet was getting…

social media and the vatican

I should have known. Of course the masses (pun intended) are going to be disrespectful to an extremely public figure if they are able to interact directly with that public figure.  And not everyone is Catholic and/or Christian so why should they defer to a little old Argentinian man who lives in Rome who they’ve never met and are never likely to meet.  But it made me wonder how many ‘followers’ (on Twitter, not in the Church) did the Pope have?  And how many of his followers would be trolls like this guy, following along so they could poke fun from a safe distance.

vatican catholic church and social media Holy snappin’ duck shit!  Over two million followers after barely two weeks in office and having barely tweeted twice before!  Impressive.  But I guess that’s to be expected though when you have a pre-existing, financially sustaining, membership of nearly 40% of global population.  Actually I thought it would be much higher, but perhaps many of the Pope’s flock don’t have great wifi access.

Then I noticed that Pope Francis is himself only following eight people… now surely as the leader of an enormous Church, he’s not supposed to follow anyone, except perhaps maybe God, but I was curious to see who those eight were, so I thought I would check out who he was following…

vatican catholic church socia media

Turns out Pope Francis is following only himself.  Eight times. In Eight different languages.  What a disappointment.  I was kinda hoping he might be following eight influential world leaders, or eight important thinkers, or eight renown philanthropists.  Or maybe as his tweet says he should be following, the poor, the weak and the vulnerable?  Who knows.  Anyway you look at it, the Vatican plus social media equals  a veritable ecclesiastical minefield – open to direct and immediate backlash from people; believers, agnostics, atheists and aggressive antagonists. Glad I’m not on the PR team responsible for his Twitter feed.

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