Pope Benedict Rides The Social Network Wave, First Tweet Through iPad

In what could be termed as the beginning of a revolutionary transformation in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has become the first Pope in the history of Christianity to ride the social networking wave.

The 84 year old, who prefers to have his speeches handwritten instead of using a computer, posted his first ever tweet using an iPad.

"Dear Friends, I just launched www.news.va. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI," the Pope tweeted using his formal name in the official Vatican language, Latin.

Within barely a span of three hours, the Pope bagged over 15,000 followers. The figure, as of this writing, has increased to 37,000. The Pope has not followed anyone till now though.

The new web portal launched by the Vatican includes YouTube videos, Facebook Links, Twitter updates, Flickr photos etc. It was developed by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications wing of the Vatican.

It is designed in white and yellow - the traditional Vatican colours, and provides the users with information from Vatican’s TV, radio as well as print outlets.

"The Church understands that its reasoning is often badly understood, with traditional media choosing to underline colourful aspects or criticism, or simplifying messages that are in essence complex," said Bruno Bartoloni, a Vatican expert who writes for Italian daily, AFP reports.