In case you hadn’t heard, or been tweeted, the Vatican is now on Twitter. To see its Twitter page, which has tweets in various languages, click here: @vatican_va (h/t Diane Korzeniewski of Te Deum laudamus blog).
The move is the latest effort on the part of the Vatican to evangelize using digital media. Tomorrow, the Vatican will host a press conference which will highlight this very theme.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, will present the Pope’s message for the 44th World Day of Social Communications (16th March 2010) on the subject: “The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in the Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word.”
According to a press release issued last September, the aim of this year’s Message is “to invite priests in particular, during this Year for Priests and in the wake of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to consider the new communications media as a possible resource for their ministry at the service of the Word. Likewise, it aims to encourage them to face the challenges arising from the new digital culture”.
The text continues: “The new communications media, if adequately understood and exploited, can offer priests and all pastoral care workers a wealth of data which was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and increased communion that were previously unthinkable”.
The communique concludes by noting that “if wisely used, with the help of experts in technology and the communications culture, the new media can become - for priests and for all pastoral care workers - a valid and effective instrument for authentic and profound evangelisation and communion”.
UPDATE: Although the tweets are about the Vatican (taken from Vatican Radio), it has web links to the Vatican’s homepage and the site uses the Vatican coat of arms and flag, it turns out the Vatican twitter page does not officially belong to the Holy See. Thanks to John Thavis of CNS for clearing that up and my apologies for the error. Hopefully an authentic Vatican Twitter page will appear soon.