OSHKOSH - Pope Benedict has announced his will start a personal Twitter account. His first tweet will be December 12th. His handle will be @pontifex, meaning "pope," or "bridge builder."
And local religious leaders are hoping his 140 character messages reach a certain targeted audience.
The Catholic Church might be an ancient organization, but its most prominent leader is embracing the present, specifically social media.
"Even though we've been around for 2,000 years we still need to keep up with what the new trends are," said Justine Lodl, the communications director for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.
She told FOX 11 Pope Benedict plans to start tweeting this month in 8 different languages including English, Italian and Arabic.
Lodl said it's an exciting idea, especially as it relates to youth in the religion.
"A group of followers that we really need to reach out to, because a lot of times we're losing young adults," explained Lodl.
Kristin Bird is the coordinator for high school ministry at Most Blessed Sacrament and St. Jude Parishes. She told us other leaders like the president already use social media to successfully address younger generations.
"Reaching out to people in the way that they're most comfortable and going to where they are says to them, 'you're important to us,''" explained Bird.
However, Bird said the Internet can be a huge distraction for young adults.
"There's so much noise in their lives. There's so many people that are trying to get their attention," said Bird.
According to Bird with all of the negative influences floating around on Twitter like certain notorious celebrities, she, the Pope will be a positive influence.
"Not just trying to get them to buy something or twist their world around," said Bird.
And Lodl told us most importantly the Pope's feed will be run as a question and answer. She said young people should be able to question their leaders.
"It's going to facilitate a dialogue and that's very important. We need to be talking about current issues," said Lodl.
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