Pope Benedict Takes to Twitter

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - Pope Benedict XVI has a new Twitter handle. Starting today on you can also call him @pontifex. That's Latin for "bridge builder".

The Vatican says His Holiness will personally send his first Tweet from the account on Dec. 12 to celebrate the feast day of "Our Lady of Guadalupe". Actually, The Pope has Tweeted before on the main, @vaticannews account - announcing the news.va Web site.

The new account is asking for questions from Tweeters in English (with separate aliases for Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Polish and Arabic). He, and presumably a large number of advisers, will try to answer as many of the queries as possible.

Vatican officials say there are currently a number of non-official Papal accounts on Twitter. They're hoping that the launch of the Pope's new account will put an end to the fake ones.

The Pope chose Twitter over Facebook ( FB), according to The Daily Beast. Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, described Facebook as "too personal," adding that "it just doesn't seem like the right vehicle for the pope's message at this time."

There's no word from Rome on whether Pope Benedict is also considering a Google+ ( GOOG) account.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.

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