Vatican: Jesus did Twitter before Twitter did Twitter

A Vatican cardinal insists that it wasn't Jack Dorsey, but Jesus Christ who invented the short, pithy message.

The first tweeter? Carson Grier/YouTube Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

With the arrival of the new Pope Francis, the Catholic Church has rather seemed to extend its arms and embrace new ideas.

There are even those who believe that the embrace is so wide that Francis is the first "atheist Pope."

So it's especially heartening that one influential Vatican cardinal has tried to explain that, for the Church, the Twitter thing isn't new at all.

Jesus, you see, tweeted long before Jack Dorsey was even a genetic trace.

As Agence France-Press reports, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi explained that Jesus "used tweets before everyone else, with elementary phrases made up of fewer than 45 characters like 'Love one another.'"

The cardinal is the Vatican's resident cultural expert, so I wouldn't dream of disputing his claim.

Well, other than perhaps to suggest there might have been other prophets, religious heads, wise men, and tribal elders who might also, even in times B.C., have offered short, melodious messages to others.

You know, such as: "Don't kill each other." And: "Get some food or we'll all die." Or even: "Look out! Dinosaur coming."

Ravasi's purpose, though, was to suggest quite rightly that there's nothing new in the abbreviated message.

He explained that Jesus didn't just use short messages, but also stories and symbols "a bit like in television today." I think he meant to say "a bit like in reality television today," but still, you know what he means.

Having grown up in the Church myself, its power of shorthand has always been very profound.

Many of the "tweets" that I was taught still dance around my mind on a daily basis.

Samples: "Sex before marriage? Go to Hell!"; "Church on Sunday. Or go to Hell!" and "Confess your sins. Or go to Hell!"

Yes, from a very early age, I've always known where I've been headed. I fear it's too late to repent.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
15 crazy old phones from a Korean museum (pictures)
10 gloriously geeky highlights from 2014 (pictures)
2015.5 Volvo XC60: updated tech, understated design
Busted! CNET readers show us their broken devices (pictures)
Take a closer look at the BlackBerry Classic (pictures)