Pope Benedict XVI has not been quite as prolific a traveler as Blessed John Paul II was, but he has surpassed his larger-than-life predecessor in one regard. In one short message he communicated personally with more than a million people around the globe.
Well, as personal as a tweet to more than a million people can be.
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
I’ve long maintained that while communications tools like Facebook and Twitter have the potential to cause great harm, allowing society to become more atomized and individuals to become more insular, they also can be used for great good, providing a means to reach more people with good news and encouragement—including and especially people who may otherwise have no opportunity to hear the Good News or reach out to others.
The good purpose is what people of good will must insist they be used for, and conduct ourselves accordingly.
Presumably the pope intends to contribute positively to societal discourse, which makes a tweeting pope a very good thing.