Members of the media all across the world have been deep in ‘Papal Coverage‘ this week as Pope Benedict the 16th retired from high office to make way for the next leader of the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike previous popes before him, Benedict was a tweeter.
The official papal Twitter account, @Pontifex, amassed more than 2.5 million followers (a million in the last days while he was in office) while only sending a few dozen tweets. The Pope followed no one, except himself; duplicate papal Twitter accounts in several different languages. The fact that the Pope was tweeting brought more eyes than ever to his Twitter account in anticipation of the Pope’s ‘final tweet’. But wait, will the account go away?
It already has.
There has been a lot of speculation about what will happen with the account. Leaders at the Vatican say the account will simply remain ‘inactive’ until one of the 115 eligible cardinals is voted to the papal throne and decides that, he too, would like to tweet to the already massive holy following.
“Obviously we leave all decisions to the new man,” wrote Monsignor Paul Tighe. “But we would hope that he might continue to use @Pontifex, which would maintain continuity.”
So have no fear, while @Pontifex is no longer online, it’s simply resting it’s voice and could become bigger and holier than ever before. But now there’s just one more minor step that needs to transpire…naming the new pope.