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Over 100,000 followers abuzz over Pope's Latin Twitter feed

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 17th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Do you follow the Pope on Twitter? If not, you might want to because you'll be joining a rapidly growing community of people who interact in the ancient language with the Holy Father.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In just six months, Pope Francis has attracted over 100,000 followers on his Latin Twitter, surpassing all expectations. Many thought the channel would be short-lived because so few people around the world speak Latin, and rarely interact.

This has proved false.

Last year when Pope Benedict XVI started tweeting in eight languages, including Arabic, nobody expected anyone to show much concern that the Pope wasn't tweeting in Latin, which is the official language of Vatican City.

However, letters poured in and Vatican officials decided to relent, setting up a Twitter in the ancient tongue. At first, they predicted just 5,000 followers, hardly worth the effort for busy Vatican officials who maintain the Pope's social media presence.

However, since it's January launch, the Latin feed has exceeded expectations. It surpassed Polish in May, and now ties German at 100,000 followers. It looks like it will continue to grow.

People of all ages are following the Pope in Latin. Many sign up for the novelty of getting the important tweets in the lingua franca.

Other subscribers are genuine Latin speakers, who enjoy reading the tweets without the filter of translation. It also makes a good exercise for the academics. Many of those also happen to be clergy, who are in many places still educated in Latin.

One interesting benefit is the economy of words in Latin. Latin, as an ancient language, is also more efficient, unencumbered by additional centuries of linguistic modification. The laconic turns of phrase required by a 140 character limitation are better served by Latin.

If you wish to follow the Holy Father in Latin, you may find him at @pontifex_ln, or alternatively, you can subscribe to Catholic Online Twitter and we will retweet his Latin for you.

Gaudendum!


( MMXIII, distribuit NUNTIUM CONSORTIUM.)

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)