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Pope Benedict XVI Blesses Followers With First Twitter Message

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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Pope Benedict XVI blessed hundreds of thousands of followers today in his first Twitter message after joining the social network earlier this month.

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter,” read the tweet, sent at the end of the Pontiff’s weekly general audience. “Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart,” the 85-year-old pope wrote.

The English version of his account @Pontifex, Latin for Pontiff, had more than 750,000 followers as of 1:26 p.m. in Rome, Benedict’s official Twitter page showed. The first papal tweet was also sent through his Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic accounts.

This is not the first time Benedict has reached out to cyberspace in an effort to attract young people to the Church.

Last year the Pope used an Apple Inc. iPad to send his first post on Twitter through a non-personal Vatican account.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Vasarri in Rome at o cvasarri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net

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