Shortly after Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio delivered his first address as Pope Francis last night, the Vatican tweeted a message from the papal Twitter account for the first time since the resignation of Pope Benedict: “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM” (We have Pope Francis).
The account, @Pontifex, began in December, when Pope Benedict began using the microblogging site. While he technically did not tweet himself, he signed off on tweets.
When he resigned the papacy on 28 February, the Vatican suspended the account, leaving it up to the new Pope to decide whether or not he wanted to continue using the microblogging site, but last night’s tweet suggests the Vatican may be nudging the new Pope toward social networking.
‘Pope Francis’ is now a trending topic on Twitter.
The College of Cardinals elected 76-year-old Bergoglio of Argentina as the next pope yesterday, after two days of deliberations.
White smoke began to stream out of the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City at 6.04pm, signalling that the 115 cardinals had reached a two-thirds majority on selecting the next pontiff.
After more than an hour later, the new Pope appeared on the balcony of St Peter’s Basilica to address the crowd of tens of thousands of spectators crammed into St Peter’s Square below. In Italian, he prayed for Benedict, the pope emeritus, asked the people to pray for him as he begins his papacy, and prayed for all people.
Francis will be officially installed in a mass on Tuesday. He is the first Jesuit pope in history, and chose a name never used in the Roman Catholic Church’s 2,000-year history, The Washington Post reported.