The Pope is to begin sending Twitter messages using the handle @pontifex as his personal account, the Vatican has said.
A spokesman said Pope Benedict XVI (pictured) wanted to "reach out to everyone" with tweets translated into eight languages.
The first tweet from his account, whose name means both pontiff and builder of bridges, is expected on 12 December.
"We are going to get a spiritual message and no one is going to be putting words into the Pope's mouth," said a Vatican media adviser.
His papacy has been bedevilled by embarrassing clarifications over issues like a speech on Islam and violence, and his stance on condoms and HIV.