Eighty-four year old Pope Benedict XVI, who in his World Communications Day Address last month praised the benefits of social media in moderation, will use Twitter to try to get Catholics more interested and engaged in Lent again.
The Vatican in a Vatican Radio blog post said that starting on ash Wednesday, February 22, it will post messages on Twitter and every day during Lent, because many Catholics barely notice Lent has come or gone, although some do volunteer, study the bible, or give up something during this time. Explaining the use of Twitter, the Vatican specifically focused on young people, noting that many “no longer keep the Lenten season in any special way – that’s why the Pontifical Council for Social Communications has come up with a new idea to focus hearts and minds on the challenges contained in Pope Benedict’s Lenten Message for 2012.”
“Starting on Ash Wednesday, themes from that papal message will be posted on Twitter each day during Lent and over the coming months other papal speeches and documents are likely to be tweeted in a similar way hoping to attract the media –savvy generation and entice them to find out more.”
Twitter works well for communicating religious messages because “many of the key Gospel ideas are readily rendered in 140 characters” explained secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, Msgr. Paul Tighe