Pope Benedict XVI officially joined Twitter when his account was verified Monday morning.
The leader of the nearly 2,000-year-old Catholic Church -- whose handle is @Pontifex, Latin for "pope" -- has already attracted more than 138,000 followers and droves of tweets to him, though he has yet to post his first 140-character nugget of holy wisdom.
He's expected to issue his inaugural tweet on Dec. 12, when he begins a weekly Q&A session, answering questions tweeted with the hashtag #askpontifex, according to a statement from the Vatican. Though he won't actually write his own "pearls of wisdom"; they'll be approved, but not physically concocted, by him.
And he may not actually want to read them, either. The 85-year-old church leader is subjecting himself to public scrutiny at a time when the church has alienated some followers with endemic child sex abuse and discouraging views on condom use.
The tweets will be translated into English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Polish and Arabic, and Chinese may soon be added.
This, by the way, isn't the pope's first Twitter account. Another account, @Pope2YouVatican, already exists but is unverified and inconsistently maintained.
Here are 10 of the best reactions to the his Holiness joining Twitter:
2. From @LOLGOP: @Pontifex's disclaimer: RTs are not confessions.
4. Comedian/Golden Globes host: Ricky Gervais: Poor old Sod. I hope the Vatican don't let him read his own timeline. He's got an idea of Hell but no idea of how cruel Twitter can be. Haha
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