Pope's Twitter Account to Go Dark

Friday, 22 Feb 2013 11:37 AM

By Dan Weil

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The @Pontifex Twitter account will go dark when Pope Benedict XVI retires Feb. 28, according to Vatican Radio.

The Pope’s tweets have turned out to be quite popular since their ballyhooed beginning 2½ months ago, CNN reports. More than 2 million people have registered to follow Benedict’s Twitter posts, which appear in nine different languages.

The tweets have attracted about 1.5 million followers in English, 700,000 in Spanish, and 22,500 in Latin.

"It seems unimaginable that one could continue to use a communication tool so popular and powerful during the 'sede vacante' period," Vatican Radio said. It was alluding to the period between Popes. "From choice, the Pontifex profile was not personalized, but it clearly refers to the person of the Pope."

It's not clear when the new Pope will take office and whether he will continue the papacy’s Twitter account.

Benedict has tweeted only twice since he announced his resignation Feb. 11. Both messages focused on Lent. He will likely offer his last Twitter posting Feb. 27 or Feb. 28, Vatican Radio reports.

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