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Pope's Latin Twitter Account: More than 100,000 followers and growing

2013-05-28

However, none of the accounts was in the Vatican's official language of Latin. The arrival of that account @Pontifex_ln came just over a month later, on January 17, 2013.

Msgr. Daniel Gallagher is the Vatican's Latinist. He tells us how and why the Pope's Latin profile was launched.


MSGR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latinist, Vatican Secretariat of State
"We were receiving letters from teachers and people who love Latin, saying Latin is the language of the Church, why is the Pope not sending tweets in Latin? And we said, very good question, maybe we should begin.”

Since then, one of the most popular social networks became a type of classic language reading course.

MSGR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latinist, Vatican Secretariat of State
"At the beginning we thought this would be a test, something of a gimmick. We said maybe we will have 5.000 followers, no more than that. It wasn't a goal but an expectation.”

But the surprise came when the number of followers widely exceeded expectations, reaching 100,000 in May, only five months after its launch.

MSGR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latinist, Vatican Secretariat of State
"In the first two days we had 200, 300 followers, then after 4 weeks, 500, and now we have around 100,000. Nobody expected to reach this number: it was almost a miracle.”

According to Monsignor Gallagher, Twitter and Latin complement each other perfectly, despite the huge generation gap between the two. He also explains why the Vatican decided on the name 'Summi Pontificis breviloquentis' for the Latin account.

MSGR. DANIEL GALLAGHER
Latinist, Vatican Secretariat of State
"Cicero used the line: "Breviloquentem tempus ipsum me iam facit,” the time itself is forcing me to speak briefly. And so it's considered an art to speak briefly and in very  few words; and that is why Latin is made for twitter and twitter is made for Latin. In 140 characters you have to say precisely what you want to say, without 6 exclamation points or 4 question marks”.

Proof of this unique chemistry are the tens of thousands of followers who look forward to reading the Pope's Tweets, in Latin, the official language of the Church.


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