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Pope reaches milestone: 40 million followers on Twitter

PONTIFEX

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 10/11/17

From Vatican Radio: 

Pope FrancisTwitter account – @pontifex – has reached a milestone: 40 million followers in 9 languages. The figure is significant not only in itself, but in what it represents for the Holy Father, himself, who, like his predecessor, desires to be a Christian witness among many on the “Digital Continent”, especially through social media. Alessandro Gisotti spoke to the Prefect of the Secretariat for Communication, Msgr. Dario Edoardo Viganò, who is entrusted with the co-ordination of the Papal accounts on Twitter and Instagram. “40 million followers means 40 million people, 40 million hearts, minds, and passions,” said Msgr. Viganò. “It is a world, a relationship, a community: this figure emphasizes that so many people continue to follow, day after day, even by way of [140-character bursts], the Pope’s Magisterium, which reaches people [It. si dipana] in very different ways: from official speeches, to unscripted encounters, to Twitter characters,” Msgr. Viganò said. Asked about the Holy Father’s social media presence more specifically, especially on Twitter and Instagram (where Pope Francis shares photos and videos under his @franciscus handle), Msgr. Viganò said, “The Pope takes great care of his social profiles, to such an extent that he closely and carefully checks all the tweets, which are then published.” He went on to say, “This concern speaks to the [Pope’s] care for relationships. So, the Pope who calls himself a ‘grandfather,’ who claims to  be far from new technologies, nevertheless intuits that there is a world – the social media world – that is made up of people.” Msgr. Viganò also said, “The Church is born when the Holy Spirit overwhelms the disciples and opens the doors of the Upper Room and they take to the streets of the world. Today, among these streets are the so-called social communities. That is why the Pope is very attentive to this reality: because any relationship needs care, which is to say cor urat, that is, ‘to warm the heart’ even through a few letters.”

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