The Vatican revealed Pope Benedict XVI's new Twitter account @Pontifex today. Followers are encouraged to ask the Pope questions via the hashtag #askpontifex or #B16. He will answer one of the questions in his first tweet on Dec. 12.
"The initiative comes from the Pope's desire to utilize all opportunities for communication which technology offers and are characteristic in the world today," Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told L'Osservatore Romano.
In just two hours on Monday morning, the Pope's followers grew from 18,000 to more than 76,000.
A Vatican official told CNN that the Pope will be composing the tweets for the new account himself and that the Pope will be sending the first tweet himself, with the press of the key.
In June 2011, Pope Benedict sent his first tweet from the Vatican news site's Twitter account, @news_va_en, for the launch of that site.