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Pope Uses an iPad, Tweets for the First Time to Announce News and Information Portal

A Vatican news information portal.

VATICAN CITY (The Blaze/AP) -- Attention, world: Pope Benedict XVI has tweeted for the first time, announcing the launch of a Vatican news information portal. Of course, one of the world's most renowned religious figures wasted no time praising Christ in his first social networking message:

Vatican officials said the Benedict touched on a "touchpad" to send the tweet. Images show the "touchpad" to be an iPad (which is confirmed in text shown below the Tweet, itself).

The portal http://www.news.va was launched for the feast day of St. Peter and Paul, which falls on June 29 but officially begins with a vesper service June 28. For the first time, the site aggregates information from the Vatican's various print, online, radio and television media. Over the past few months, the holy institution has been increasingly embracing social media. AFP has more:

The Vatican [has launched] popular Facebook and YouTube pages and [has been] courting bloggers as it tries to get the Church's message out to a wider and more youthful audience.

The Church also used a website to receive notifications of purported miracles attributed to late pope John Paul II and is launching an e-learning initiative to address the problem of child abuse by priests

The Church also discussed creating an app for confessions, but officials inevitably decided against it. Thus, priests will still need to hear church members confess their sins in person. Nonetheless, the Catholic Church has come leaps and bounds in its embrace of social technologies.

Wednesday also marks the 60th anniversary of Benedict's ordination as a priest.

One last thing…
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