The official ‘voice of the Pope’, Vatican Radio, has confirmed that after stepping down at the end of February, Pope Benedict XVI god rest his soul will close his infamous Twitter account.
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Digitaltrends.com reported on the news that the 85-year-old will send his final tweet (via the handle @Pontifrex) on either February 27th or 28th. At 8pm on February 28th, the account will be formally closed.
It is not known whether or not when first opened, the Pope’s Twitter account followed any kind of social media strategy – but so far, it has opened up this thought to some 1.5 million followers and been noted as a landmark move on the Vatican’s behalf.
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Some have said the account may be re-opened by whoever takes over the post, but during the ‘sede vacante’ (i.e. the time during which the post will remain vacant), it is felt it would be inappropriate to keep the account active.
The secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Paul Tighe, confirmed on news.va: “The Twitter account @pontifex was created for the exclusive use of the Pope. @pontifex will be inactive during the interim period between the renouncement of Pope Benedict XVI and the election of his successor (sede vacante). @pontifex will be available for use by the next Pope as he may wish.”
After publishing his first buy tweet on December 12th, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made good use of the social network. His most recent post was published some 24 hours ago, which read: “In these momentous days, I ask you to pray for me and for the church, trusting as always in divine Providence”.