We knew it was coming today, it was just a matter of when. The leader of the Catholic church has just tweeted for the first time.
Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.
— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
The Pope’s official Twitter account went live on December 3rd, and has amassed more than 667,000 follows to date.
The Washington Post reported earlier that this first tweet was to be the Pope’s own words, possibly typed by an aide, but sent by the Pontiff himself from an iPad.
The Pope’s arrival on Twitter was first reported last month, and follows social media-related papal declarations in recent years, about the importance of social media for priests and criticising fake accounts and linkbait.
UPDATE: Here’s footage of the moment the Pope’s first tweet was sent. It seems he needed a little help to press send after all:
Image credit: AFP / Getty Images