The Pope on Twitter: 12 Tweets Later

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Unfortunately we live in a society where making fun of Christians, and specifically Catholics, is widely accepted. It’s common to turn on TV or go online just to hear or read some snide remark about Christians. So what do we do? We grow thick skin, we turn the other cheek, and we love them anyway.

But as soon as I heard the Pope would be posting on Twitter, I sighed and braced myself for the parodies, the Onion articles, and the mocking tweets that would follow. (And they did.) I learned not to look at tweets directed at @Pontifex, since at least 75% of the messages are derogatory.

Earlier this week the Pontifical Council for Social Communications posted an article, “The good, bad, ugly: Church can’t shy away from Twitter’s Wild West. Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the council, had some positive takeaways from the Twitter responses:

“What stuck with me most was all the lovely stuff,” the positive and genuine comments and queries in the midst of the ugly. Just because there is a negative side to new media doesn’t mean the church should shy away, he said.

Monsignor Tighe’s interpretation was a good reminder to always look at the bright side. There will always be negativity online, but I can’t allow it to overshadow the importance of Pope Benedict XVI’s message of evangelization and the significance of his presence online.




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Author:Clare Zajicek

Clare Zajicek is a Catholic wife, mom, and Marketing professional working in the Milwaukee area.
  • Lily

    Thank you for your informative article! I didn’t realise that 75% of tweets to the Pope were negative! Thank the Lord for the example of the Pope’s witness in the social media landscape. We should be bombarding @Pontifex with tweets, thanking him for his example. We love you Papa!

  • Sr. Caroline

    We are in a new day and age where we all need to be good Digital Citizens. If those posting these negative comments were kids saying these types of things when they were a child when I was growing up, well – the soap came out. We need to be clearer with one another that we need a kinder and gentler Digital World where we respect one another.

  • Meredith Gould

    Gotta say that as a long-time church communications professional and digital strategist I’ve been dismayed by how the Vatican is squandering valuable capital on Twitter. The tweets from @Pontifex are great examples of generic broadcasting. Disappointing.

    • Clare Zajicek

      It’s true, nothing screams “we’re still kind of afraid of the Internet” like one platitude-esque Tweet after another.