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VATICAN CITY (AP) ? Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account, blessing his online fans and urging them to listen to Christ.

In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: "And now the pope will tweet!"

"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," the inaugural tweet read.

At around the same time the message was sent, the number of followers of Benedict's (at)Pontifex account surpassed the 1 million mark with all eight languages of the handle combined, adding some 11,000 followers in the last two hours alone.

Benedict actually sent his first tweet over a year ago, using a generic Vatican account to launch the Holy See's news information portal. Someone in his name tweeted daily during Lent, part of the Vatican's efforts to increase the church presence in social media.

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And it was stated on BBC news that the guy himself wouldn't write his own tweets... Burn.

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I do not believe anything that the BBC says. How would they even know?

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Good. Now how about a tweet from his boss.

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VATICAN CITY (AP) ? Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account, blessing his online fans and urging them to listen to Christ.

In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: "And now the pope will tweet!"

"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," the inaugural tweet read.

At around the same time the message was sent, the number of followers of Benedict's (at)Pontifex account surpassed the 1 million mark with all eight languages of the handle combined, adding some 11,000 followers in the last two hours alone.

Benedict actually sent his first tweet over a year ago, using a generic Vatican account to launch the Holy See's news information portal. Someone in his name tweeted daily during Lent, part of the Vatican's efforts to increase the church presence in social media.

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You actually believe he is writing his own tweets? Not. I am sure he has some staff member doing it for him. I seriously doubt the Pope did it himself. He looks like the type who could care less about technology.

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Good. Now how about a tweet from his boss.

@aBROham wnt 2 prove ur hardcore? Take ur kid into the woods and kill him or w/e #YOLO

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If I ever need to cover up some child rape allegations I know just who to tweet now

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"Dear friends" something the a Catholic Church needs right now.

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For some reason, in my head, it sounds like a scene from a cartoon....

1- The pope presses 'Send' on the twitter page

2- You hear a cacophony of cell phone noises all around the cathedral of people opening their twitter clients....

3- You hear the twitter "You have a new tweet" message.

4- Everyone sighs in relief and cheers.

Yeah, that's what's in my head XD

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Considering the number of people who still believe in the Bible and the Quran it's clear that more needs to be done to improve education around the globe.

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When's he going to tweet "Just ate the body of Christ, lol"

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In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience after the equivalent of a papal drum roll by an announcer who intoned: "And now the pope will tweet!"

How dramatic. :D

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