The Pope, in the flesh. (Photo: flickr.com/Jess Pac)
Pope Benedict is due to start tweeting December 12, under the handle @pontifex. His Holiness has almost 375,000 followers already, and that number’s still inching slowly northward.
But will those tweets be infallible? Are we going to get into some terrible theological muddle over a typo? Nope! The BBC says tweets don’t qualify under the doctrine:
“It’s just like the Pope having a private conversation with someone,” explains Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
He added, “There will be no dogmatic aspect to Papal tweets.” That means no infallibility, which only applies when the pope is speaking as pope, not when he’s giving you driving directions or retweeting rumors from the Roman police scanner. Future students of theology will therefore be spared the indignity of having to cite Twitter in their writings.
Personally, given Benedict’s well-known flair for fashion, we’re holding out for the official @pontifex Instagram account.