His Holiness the Pope issued his first tweet: “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM,” which translates to: “We have Pope Francis.”. This was immediately retweeted by the followers all over the world into multiple languages with the same meaning, more then 25,000 retweets in 10 minutes.
The twitter handle “pontifex” not only means pope in Latin, but traces its roots back to Roman times and also means bridge builder. His holiness has to reach 1.2 billion Catholics across the world and most of them do not speak or understand Latin.
The Vatican needs to tap the social media vehicle for getting His Holiness message across to Catholics across the world. As the believers look for answers and solutions from the Vatican City as the religion stands on its crossroads and needs a new impetus and direction.
It is a momentous occasion a first Latin American Pope and also the first Pope from the Jesuits.
I had the fortune of spending my formative years in a school administered by Jesuits and I have great admiration for the value and character that they have imbibed in me which I retain till today.
They were great administrators and also managed to instill the universal values of the Roman Catholic Church and the Bible to even to people who were not Christians into their everyday life.
Coming back to His Holiness twitter alone will not be enough to address the believers, there is a great need for the Vatican to publish a blog of all the Pope’s mass, sermons and other official pronouncements so that Catholics across the world can follow their spiritual leader in real time.
This will be a departure from the traditional snail mail of passing down from the Pope to the Bishop and finally to the Padre conducting the mass to the followers.
The Catholic Church leadership has a great opportunity to use the social media like You Tube, Blogger, Facebook and even if required Linkedin and other business social sites to bring the faithful together under the Catholic umbrella globally.
It is time for the Catholic Church to start its Digital Crusade to keep its faith alive.