At 8:22 p.m. Vatican time today (2:22 p.m. CT), “Inmensamente feliz de ser el nuevo Papa, Francisco I” (English translation: “Immensely happy to be the new Pope, Francis I”) was posted on what appears to be Archbishop of Buenos Aires Jorge Bergoglio’s personal Twitter account (@JMBergoglio):
Inmensamente feliz de ser el nuevo Papa, Francisco I
— Jorge M Bergoglio (@JMBergoglio) March 13, 2013
Eleven minutes later, “HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM” (“We have Pope Francis”) was tweeted from the official papal account managed by the Vatican (@Pontifex):
HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM
— Pontifex (@Pontifex) March 13, 2013
Expect Pope Francis, 76, to be much more active in social media than Benedict XVI was.
The newly-elected pope also appears to have a personal Facebook profile with 56 friends. According to the Facebook profile, Bergoglio attended “escuela secundaria industrial,” which translates to “industrial school” in English.
It’s hard to know for sure if these two social media accounts actually belong to Bergoglio, but the accounts are linked (as evidenced by the Facebook profile puking out tweets from @JMBergoglio on its Timeline) and contextual clues seem to confirm they do belong to the newly-elected Pope Francis.
Pope Benedict XVI, the former Cardinal Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger of Austria, pumped out 39 tweets before his papacy ended on Feb. 28, 2013. Citing declining health, Benedict announced Feb. 11, 2013 he would step down as pope at the end of the month.
Benedict has since become known as “pope emeritus.” Church officials chose to remove his tweets from the @Pontifex Twitter account, archiving them all on a Vatican website.
UPDATE (3/13/2013 @ 18:09 CT): The @JMBergoglio Twitter account has now been suspended. Knowing how persnickety Twitter can be, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean it didn’t belong to the new pope. The JMBergoglio Facebook profile now has 57 friends.
Category: Reality Bytes