The Catholic Church and social media

In the final weeks before his resignation, Pope Benedict created an official twitter account.  And last month The Vatican was present at South by Southwest, the preeminent gathering of the high-tech community where Twitter was famously launched ten years ago.  Just what is the link between these two seeming opposites: A two-thousand-year-old institution and cutting-edge social media platforms?

Excerpts from article on “As the Vatican's Adjunct Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, one of Bishop Tighe's many responsibilities is to run the social media accounts for the Pope. Five years ago, Pope Benedict decided to set up a Twitter account - @Pontifex - which is continued today by Pope Francis. It was a decision the Church at the time felt was hugely symbolic.

Bishop Tighe’s presence here marks the first time the Vatican has attended the South by Southwest Interactive conference, and their panel - titled Compassionate Disruption - is one of this year's most talked about events.

‘I want to learn and get a feeling for what are the things that are driving a generation of people who are in many ways shaping the world as we know it. Really deep down, I see a lot of people looking for some sort of connectivity.’

That's certainly true - though I get the sense for delegates here that means good wi-fi, rather than a strong sense of faith. So, Bishop Tighe's mission is to get this industry to find real value in both.”