Pope Benedict has blessed his more than 1 million Twitter followers in his first tweet from his new account on the social network.
The pontiff touched a computerized screen to send the message during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.
It said “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”
Within an hour of sending out the first tweet, the pope posted and answered a question sent to him on Twitter about faith.
The pope tweets under the handle @pontifex in the eight languages of his account.
The Vatican says the Twitter messages, which are limited to 140 characters, will not be written by the pope himself but by church officials who will submit them for his approval.