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Tweet Jesus! Pope starts tweeting on iPad

Pope Benedict XVI has started tweeting to the faithful with an iPad. Is Angry Birds next?

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

If you believe the Pope is God's rep on Earth, you can now get the word from above in 140 characters or less.

Pope Benedict XVI has joined the masses on Twitter, using the microblogging service for the first time yesterday.

"Dear Friends, I just launched News.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," the pontiff tweeted.

The new Vatican portal brings together various print and broadcast news streams into one site.

The tweet is part of the Holy See's campaign to proselytize online. Although the Vatican wasn't crazy about a confession app that came out recently, it previously endorsed an iPhone prayer app.

It has also joined Facebook and YouTube in an effort to connect with younger, digitally savvy generations. The Vatican's English-language Twitter feed has nearly 50,000 followers.

The social-media outreach programs are grouped on the Pope 2 You site, run by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Visitors to the Rome basilica of St. John in Lateran, meanwhile, can now borrow iPods while touring the premises.

It's unclear how much the 84-year-old Benedict, who marked the 60th anniversary of his ordination as priest this week, will communicate via Twitter. Judging from the video below, he's still a newbie with the iPad.