An Irish priest is advising the Pope on his new Twitter account – after a day of torment for the Pontiff on the social networking site.
Pope Benedict took to the internet on Wednesday to make his Twitter debut under the guidance of Meath born Monsignor Paul Tighe. He opened a Twitter account on December 3.
The Irish Sun newspaper reports that the Pope was mocked by fellow users and ran the gauntlet from pranksters.
The paper reports that user @TwopTwips sent him a message reading: “Hi mate. I’m thinking of getting one of them popemobiles — do you know what insurance band it would fall under? Cheers fella.”
Another, @GOD87620876, added: “I hear you’re still spreading rumours about me and the Virgin Mary. Stop it!”
Some users used the platform to berate the Pope over ongoing pedophile scandals in the Catholic church.
Mgr Tighe however promised that the Pontiff will continue to build his Twitter profile and audience.
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“The Holy Father is intrigued and pleased with his debut online,” said Mgr Tighe, who added that Pope Benedict is ready and prepared to deal with queries from ordinary Catholics.
He said: “We’ve been waiting for the questions, we have to select questions and engage him around those questions.
“It’s almost like the equivalent of the old marketplaces where Jesus went to engage people.”
Pope Benedict XVI had notched up over a million since he joined the social networking site on December 3.
Mgr Tighe added: “The name of the game is not about followers of the Pope.
“It’s about ways to reach people who may be touched by, strengthened by, encouraged by the words of the Gospel.
“If there are followers, they’re followers of Christ.”