HE has just completed a weighty, three-volume tome on the life of Christ, but the Pope is about to embrace a rather pithier means of communication – Twitter.
Benedict XVI, who has been keen to use new media during his seven-year papacy, believes he can squeeze the wisdom of the gospels into tweets of no more than 140 characters without dumbing down the word of God.
The 85-year-old Pontiff is due to start tweeting regularly within the next few days. It was announced in the Vatican's official newspaper, 'L'Osservatore Romano', in an article titled "How to speak of God in 140 characters".
"Pope Benedict has written that even a very few words can communicate great messages," the newspaper said.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communication, told the paper: "The initiative was inspired by the Pope's desire to use every opportunity offered by new technology to communicate."
It will not be the first time that the Pope has tweeted. In June 2011, he launched a new Vatican website, www.news.va, which brings together radio, television and news material, with a tweet sent from an iPad. The Vatican also has a Twitter presence already.
The Pope is unlikely to type the tweets himself, but he will have close control over what is written in his name. (© Daily Telegraph, London).