Apple will be literally thanking the heavens today after Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet from an iPad. You just can’t buy that kind of publicity.

Jeez, I wish @God would follow me back already, I want to ask him a question in private. Photo: news.com.au

According to news.com.au @ponitfex, as he is known on Twitter, exceeded one million followers last night after his debut tweet. Take that, Justin Bieber.

Here’s what the Tweet said:

“Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

Awww, thanks @pontifex and right back at you. Nice to see someone behaving themselves on Twitter for once, hopefully it will rub off. 

He’s certainly got some leverage. The @pontifex handle is distributed in eight languages and the 85 year old is also up for questions, having responded to his many followers throughout the day.

By the way, the Vatican has asked that any questions of faith need to be sent using #askpontifex hashtag.

Imagine the possibilities – confession on DM? Weddings by proxy? Mass tweeted live? Not to mention speculation about who @pontifex will follow - @God perhaps?

Yep, @pontifex will be one to watch.

#peacebewithyou

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEST

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86 comments

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    • Joan says:

      08:22am | 13/12/12

      `Imagine the possibilities ` nothing like a twitter bird brain going into overdrive.

    • lower_case_andrew says:

      09:28am | 13/12/12

      “M’mmmm – the Vatican is giving children cancer via its Vatican Radio.”

      Why did you state this like it’s a fact?

      Correlation, causation, look it up.

    • Colin says:

      10:34am | 13/12/12

      @ P.Darvio

      And while your looking it up, as lower_case-andrew suggests, take a quick squizz at “The Inverse Square Law of Electromagnetic Radiation” and see if any of those FACTS get through your tinfoil hat…

    • P. Darvio says:

      10:34am | 13/12/12

      Quote: Why did you state this like it’s a fact?

      Because it is –  I know how much Christianity hates Science and secular law and secular Courts but there has been a scientific investigation that shows up to a 6 times increase in cancer and a “coherent and meaningful correlation” (see below) plus the Supreme court of Italy has ordered the Vatican Radio Cancer Show to turn down the power of its transmissions (Which the Vatican ignored for years).
      Go Google it – here’s some other references going back over a decade.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1273593.stm

      “The Vatican has offered to reduce some of its medium wave transmission after its important Easter broadcasts.”

      Oh – how very kind of them…..!


      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_Radio_lawsuit

      “The Region of Lazio has also found that the people in the area around the emitters are much more likely to have leukemia: the closer those in the examined sample lived to the radio station, the more likely they were to have leukemia, up to six times the Italian national average.”

      AND

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/vaticancityandholysee/7891504/Vatican-radio-waves-blamed-for-high-cancer-risk.html

      “There has been an important, coherent and meaningful correlation between exposure to Vatican Radio’s structures and the risk of leukaemia and lymphoma in children,” the report said, according to the daily La Stampa.

      AND

      http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Court+rules+againts+Vatican+radio+in+pollution+case.+(World).-a0101530044

      “The country’s highest appeals court has cleared the way for officials of Vatican Radio to be tried on charges of polluting the environment with electro-magnetic emissions”

      AND


      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10634977

      “Italian courts have been investigating for 10 years whether of an abnormally high number of deaths from cancer among families living near the aerials just north of the Italian capital can be attributed to electromagnetic radiation.

      The 300-page report, ordered by the courts and carried out by Italy’s most prestigious cancer research hospital, now concludes that there is a connection between radiation and the cancer incidents.”


      I’m not sure how the twittering Pope will negatively affect our children with social media, but based on past history I’m sure they will figure out a way…..

    • P. Darvio says:

      11:52am | 13/12/12

      Quote: “….take a quick squizz at “The Inverse Square Law of Electromagnetic Radiation” and see if any of those FACTS get through your tinfoil hat…”

      Sorry I’m just too busy listening to Vatican Radio through my singing doorbell and fridge…..

      http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81259&page=1

      …the hills are alive with the sound of music……..

      Where’s that lead shielding I ordered?

    • Philosopher says:

      11:53am | 13/12/12

      a tinfoil hat is no barrier to EMR; one would have to don a thick lead shield.

    • K^2 says:

      08:45am | 13/12/12

      Oh, is the pope still relevant?  I thought it was 2012, not 1612.  My bad.

    • hammy says:

      09:20am | 13/12/12

      To the largest religion in Australia, apparently he is oh and by the way, 70% of the country is religious…welcome to the minority.

    • Expat Ozzie says:

      10:01am | 13/12/12

      @hammy: Wan’t it 67% the other day? Right wing inflation working it’s magic again. You’ll have it 80% by the end of next week no doubt. So why is it the church of mythology is always complaining of smaller and smaller congregations then?

    • Al says:

      10:13am | 13/12/12

      hammy - 1) Religous does NOT = Catholic.
      2) Seperate all the different religions into their own little category and guess what, THEY ARE ALL MINORITIES, every single one.

      Welcome to the realisation you are in a minority and have been for a very long time hammy.

    • hammy says:

      10:16am | 13/12/12

      Expat,

      Keep believing the spread of intolerance is good for you, your family and the country.

    • Jesus says:

      10:33am | 13/12/12

      Religious folk aren’t people. People are humans. Humans have free will. Therefore, Religious folk aren’t people and should be kept in cages.

    • K^2 says:

      10:37am | 13/12/12

      Hammy, of that 70% large portions are Jedi Knights, or Pastafarians mate, and that’s documented provable fact not some stat I dreamed up.

      The proportion of the population with a non-Christian religion went up significantly 7.2% in 2011. However the largest single change at the broad level in 2011 was the increase in those stating ‘No religion’. A total of 4.8 million Australians chose this option in 2011. In 2011, there were 65,486 Jedi in Australia.
      http://blog.id.com.au/2012/australian-census-2011/2011-australian-census-how-have-our-religions-changed/

      Light sabers anyone?

    • P. Darvio says:

      10:47am | 13/12/12

      Less than 27% of Australians can actually claim to be Christians - as only they actually claim to believe in the Christian GOD and actually claim to believe in the Christian Bible. 

      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/editorial/survey-shows-religion-still-has-the-numbers-20091218-l5oi.html

      “Only half that proportion, though, believe that their god is the author of their faith’s scriptures, and a smaller proportion still - 27 per cent - believe those scriptures are literally true”

      If you don’t believe in the Bible how can you claim to be Christian?

      This nonsense of 70% quoted being religious is simply false, not even the ABS figures show this. What the ABS figures do show is a rapid decline of religion in Australia over the last 100 years – within a few more decades religion, even by the ABS figures, will thankfully be in the minority – actually it already is by the true measure of religious faith.

    • Tubesteak says:

      10:49am | 13/12/12

      70%? 67%? Based on ticking a box on a census form…... Hardly a strong analysis of one’s religious persuasions
      Lets do some analysis on regular church/synagogue/temple attendance. Lets see how strongly these people adhere to the teachings of their religion

      I can tick any box on a census form. Doesn’t mean it’s true. Only a thorough analysis of the facts will prove the veracity of the claim

    • hammy says:

      10:49am | 13/12/12

      Al,

      Your continued use of strawman arguments don’t aid your cause (day two).  You may need to try a different tactic.

      Please read what was written:

      1) The largest religion in Australia is Catholicism - note I didn’t say religion equals Catholic.

      2) 70% of the country is religious - note I said religious, they believe in religion of some kind.  The MAJORITY believe.

      You can deny the existence of reality, but that doesn’t mean it’s not reality.

    • Expat Ozzie says:

      11:06am | 13/12/12

      @hammy: Oh I’m not intolerant. I have many friends from all different backgrounds, one of the benefits of living in foreign countries for part of your life.

      I’ve found the more religious people are the more intolerant they get. It’s always struck me a strange paradox that.

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      11:15am | 13/12/12

      87.29% of all statistics are made up on the spot….

    • hammy says:

      11:31am | 13/12/12

      Pretend it isn’t so all you want.
      Hate all you want.
      Doesn’t change the facts.
      Most religious people are decent people.

    • Al says:

      11:41am | 13/12/12

      hammy re: “The largest religion in Australia is Catholicism - note I didn’t say religion equals Catholic”
      Then why are you using the 70% figure in response to an article about the Pope who is ONLY relevant to Catholics?
      You do realise that using that 70% figure (which is disputable anyway) that anyone who identifies as religous is included in the one group, even though they actualy believe that many others in that group are deluded, wrong, or should be converted/prosecuted.
      I could use your (and others arguments) that since according to them Atheisim is a religion that means 100% of the population is religous, whether they actualy believe or follow any doctorine of a religion.
      It is a misleading a BS figure.

    • Colin says:

      11:52am | 13/12/12

      “You can deny the existence of reality, but that doesn’t mean it’s not reality.” Hrm…interesting coming from a catholic that worships a sky fairy

    • Al says:

      12:03pm | 13/12/12

      hammy - yes, most religious people are decent people.
      So are most non-religious people.

    • Ravi says:

      12:22pm | 13/12/12

      @hammy

      The Pope believes in Hell. Anyone who believes in Hell can’t be all good. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR-UoC5YwvI (Saint Faustina’s vision of Hell - total garbage, of course, purveyed with but one purpose: to terrify the ignorant and superstitious into submission.)

    • hammy says:

      12:23pm | 13/12/12

      Al,

      Didn’t we have this same kind of conversation yesterday?  I can’t help you suffer from faulty interpretation.  Your sweeping generalisations about what you think they believe shows you don’t have much idea of what religion is about. (we’ve noted you make things up and attribute this to others, more than once).

      Again, you can deny the existence of reality, but that doesn’t mean it’s not reality.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:31pm | 13/12/12

      Most religious people are whackjobs that believe in fairytales. I wouldn’t define that as a decent person.

      That’s the type of person that welsh’s on their shout because they don’t drink….or wouldn’t even turn up to the pub in the first place because they have all the personality of a wet sock

    • Al says:

      12:35pm | 13/12/12

      hammy - to clarrify my position.
      Using you 70% religous figure and with the assumption that 70% (made up figure) of those are catholic this equates to 49%. As such 51% are not catholic and it is therefore not a majority.
      Does that clarrify things?
      Hardly a ‘strawman’ argument.

    • Al says:

      12:57pm | 13/12/12

      hammy re - “you don’t have much idea of what religion is about.”
      Religion is generaly about control, fear and insecurity.
      Religion is generaly also about absolutes and does not encourage the decent treatment of those who don’t share those beliefs.
      It many cases religion ecourages the discrimination and ostracisation of those who don’t follow the same doctorine.
      Perhaps you should actualy go and read your bible and see what it actualy condones. You may be surprised at the atrocities that are encouraged. The fact that many religous people have chossen not to follow those parts of the bible despite claiming to be christian just shows that they don’t follow the doctorine of their religion.
      And the reason I know about religion, I have actualy attended and been involved in many religions, and read the doctorines and most times was asked to leave when I questioned why they choose to selectively follow parts of what the doctorine says only.

    • hawker says:

      01:21pm | 13/12/12

      C’mon Tubesteak. Catholics are just about the biggest boozers on the planet. Especially the priests. Credit where it’s due.

    • hammy says:

      01:30pm | 13/12/12

      Al,

      I will give it one more shot.

      I said that Catholicism is the single largest religion in this country.

      I then used the word ‘and’

      Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘and’ in part as ‘used to introduce an additional comment or interjection’

      This use of the word ‘and’ then permitted me to introduce an additional comment - that 70% of the country is religious.

      You can question that 70% is a made up figure, but the Australian Bureau of Statistics would disagree with you.  Perhaps you should go and view the statistics and see if you can resolve your own internal issues.

      I never placed a percentage on those that are Catholic.  You did.
      I never said that Religion equals Catholic.  You did.

      Strawman is ‘a sham argument set up to be defeated.’

      I think we have satisfied the terms of that definition.

    • Ravi says:

      01:39pm | 13/12/12

      @hammy

      Ho, ho, ho. The religious nutter wants to tell us about reality. This should be good. Let’s start with unicorns, leprechauns, and sky fairies.

    • hammy says:

      02:04pm | 13/12/12

      @Ravi

      I hope you notice you have been ignored twice now.

    • Al says:

      02:07pm | 13/12/12

      hammy - but that’s just it, Catholicisim is not one religion, there are multiple different versions of it, all with different versions of the religion and no single one is a majority in its own right.
      It is like the label Christian, there is no religion called Christian, there are many seperate religions that fall under the banner of Christian.
      These tricks are used to inflate the numbers to try and make it appear that the number following these religions are higher than they actualy are.

    • Al says:

      03:29pm | 13/12/12

      Hammy - as for “Again, you can deny the existence of reality, but that doesn’t mean it’s not reality. “
      So, which particular reality are you refering too.
      Due to the very limited range of our senses and understanding, and the variance in these between individuals you do realise that no 2 people actualy experience the same ‘reality’ don’t you?

    • Stained says:

      03:53pm | 13/12/12

      Sorry hammy, of the 70% who said they were indoctrinated into a religion, only 25.8% were indoctrinated into Catholicism.  Stick to actual facts!

      I far better question for collecting statistics would be “when did you last visit a place of worship” apart from a wedding or funeral; I say that because I was amazed that atheist Bryce was farewelled from a church???  WTF!

      Your post to Al is plain bullshit! The largest religion in Australia is Anglican.  You get your numbers and percentages from the same place as me since you have previously posted some truths, but not this time, so don’t bullshit!
      Try the facts at:

      https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/as.html

    • Stained says:

      04:00pm | 13/12/12

      hammy, it is plain unadultered bullshit that Catholicism is the biggest d\single relion in Australia!!  WTF do you get this shit from?  I’m not religious nor Anglican, but if you did your research you will d\find that they are the biggest single religion in Australia.  Decent people don’t bullshit mate!!

    • Stained says:

      04:13pm | 13/12/12

      Ravi, forget hammy, he’s an intolerant bigot. 

      You also forgot to mention the talking snake and women turning to pillars of salt.  It was civilizations first attempt at a Harry Potter series. Mind you the bible did become very successful, but nothing else was about for a critique at that time.

      Sometimes things are so bad in our lives we need some fantasies to check on.  Its called casting you mind to what you want to believe to feel good.  I on the other hand know I will never see anyone up in the sky or looking down when I die .  I accept that as fact.  But I do dream now and again and believe my mum is around me, I know it’s very fanciful but relieves that emotional moment.  We have all been given the ability to dream, but that’s it, a dream!

      Then reality sets in and I get on with life.

    • john says:

      08:50am | 13/12/12

      I just can’t help thinking of the south park episode that sums up the catholic church’s and the pope’s inability to deal with the problems facing Catholicism.

      http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/155323/completely-off-the-hook

      You can see what I mean at 1min16secs.

      I saw the same message in Sydney Mardigras in the late 1980’s when some older men got dressed up as bishops and had leashes around young men - I just thought it was funny, I didn’t realise it was a message and it was real.

      Now I can see the message is main stream.

    • wakeuppls says:

      12:25pm | 13/12/12

      john

      Unfortunately, the message is perhaps by accident totally different. Pedophilia and homosexuality are basically bedfellows. You don’t see many Catholic priests raping girls or even Nuns.

    • Stained says:

      05:21pm | 13/12/12

      Wakeuppls, where do you get your fantasies from, or does religion train you mind into these?  Pedophilia and homosexuality are basically bedfellows, WTF are you on about? . You don’t see many Catholic priests raping girls or even Nuns.  No, in fact there are many nuns who are mothers and tell that to the young girls that they weren’t raped!  You people are all the same and hate truths!  Bigotted intolerant assholes!
      What you are saying is that homosexuals must like boys; thats the same as saying that dad, being hetero, likes his little girls!
      You are sick individuals!  And under your reasoning, all unmarried Catholics must be masturbators!

    • iansand says:

      09:03am | 13/12/12

      Sermons limited to 140 characters.  YES!!!!!!!!!

    • Philosopher says:

      09:25am | 13/12/12

      sounds good, if it teaches the kiddies to learn classical Latin. I would imagine this is the language he uses in his tweets? De gustibus non est disputandum.

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      10:16am | 13/12/12

      Caesar si viveret, ad remum dareris….

    • Colin says:

      10:51am | 13/12/12

      @ Smoke Crack - Worship Satan

      Yes, yes, I believe you literacy in Latin. Not.

      Quite sure that you think that Illegitimati Non Carborundum is a real Latin phrase too, hey..?

    • Markus says:

      10:55am | 13/12/12

      Romanes eunt domus!

    • Don says:

      11:35am | 13/12/12

      You are a naughty boy Markus.

    • old fathers tail says:

      12:02pm | 13/12/12

      Dominos, Dominos, Domino my father plays Dominos better than yours can.

    • Smoke Crack - Worship Satan says:

      12:15pm | 13/12/12

      @Colon

      Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.

    • difficult lemon says:

      01:33pm | 13/12/12

      @ Colin et alia

      Si tacuisses philosophus mansisses.

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      09:36am | 13/12/12

      Hi Lucy,

      Spreading the message of peace and goodwill by someone like the Pope Benedict XVI through one of the biggest social media networks like Twitter, seems to be very timely indeed just in time for Christmas.  It only goes to show that we are never too old to learn and enjoy what the latest technology offers to us all.  it is all about closing the gaps in our society and reaching our goals somehow.  I wish that we had more religious and community leaders doing the same thing.  Because once we get to know the other belief and cultural systems, our preconceived ideas and prejudices might disappear for good, hopefully!

      Instead of treating the others from different backgrounds who may not be exactly the same way as ours with suspicion and distrust, we could actually learn much more from one another.  It is all about forgetting the differences that divide us and concentrate on the things which might unite us for a change! So should we all wish and pray for having more peace, less hunger and misery in our world?  Is it all about being informed about the power of positive thinking and may be as well as the positive influence of the latest craze we tend to call Twitting.  Kind regards.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:28am | 13/12/12

      The catholic church is one of the most bigoted, divisive, greedy, hypocritical and downright evil institutions in the world. They might’ve been able to convince a lot of people that they stand for peace, love and generosity, but people like me (people with a brain) see right through all that bullshit. The catholic church is a cancer on the planet that’s detrimental to our progress as a species.

    • hammy says:

      11:04am | 13/12/12

      Anonymous

      How long were you a Catholic?

    • david says:

      11:13am | 13/12/12

      Thanks for that Neslihan.

      Your thoughts are very positive and uplifting. ‘Forgetting the differences that divide us’ is a powerful way of experiencing the world - and it shows in your peaceful outlook.

    • Anonymous says:

      11:50am | 13/12/12

      I don’t see how that factors into what I said, Hammy. But ok, I’ll bite.

      Catholicism was pushed on me at an early age so you could say I lacked the maturity to think for myself during the time I was brainwashed. I started questioning things around the age of 13 and then became agnostic when I was 16. My argument was that if god existed, then he/she was either a complete asshole or not as powerful as people claim. My hatred towards the catholic church and all the horrible things they do came a couple of years after that.

    • Be Fair says:

      12:19pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous, you may have a brain but I suspect there’s been quite of damage done to it. If you were to open your eyes and mind, you cannot but fail to acknowledge the good the church has done and continues to do (schools, hospitals, etc).  No one should attempt to justify the bad stuff (sex abuse, corruption..) that has gone on in the church but we all need to maintain a balanced perspective.

    • Bruno says:

      12:24pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous - “but people like me see right through all that bullshit” - yeah but you’re so smart, teach me please. Read your post again, how bigoted, divisive and hypocritical it is. Your last sentence is pure evil implying that Catholics are the bacteria that give the Church its life. I am sorry that when you die nothing is going to happen to you. The Church helps perform God’s work on His Earth. What do you do.

    • Shane* says:

      12:35pm | 13/12/12

      @Anonymous

      And how do you reconcile your opinion with the fact that the Catholic Church has more hospitals, schools and welfare outreach programs than any government on the planet?

    • wakeuppls says:

      12:35pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous

      In your ridiculous and biased rant, you forgot to mention how many people have been killed over the last 150 years by secular Communist and Fascist governments. Either way, carry on.

    • hammy says:

      12:51pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous,

      I asked because life colours our view of it, so it’s completely relevant.

      Any thoughts on the good things the Church do or is it all evil?

    • Anonymous says:

      01:15pm | 13/12/12

      @Be “Fair”

      Of course there’s been some damage done to my brain! I was placed in an environment that fed me lies, fear and bigotry at a young age against my will. I’m lucky that I was able to see through the hypocrisy and get out before it turned me into some Jesus-absorbed nutcase.

      @Bruno
      Thankyou for agreeing with me. I AM smart. I can be bigoted sometimes and I am divisive because I guess being bombarded day-to-day with the stupid opinions of idiots causes a “me or them” attitude to fester as a defense mechanism. But here’s the thing. I don’t claim to be a moral authority like the Catholic church. It IS a cancer. Why? Where do I begin? Uhh… ok, the pope is partly to blame for the spread of AIDS in developing nations because of his lies about condom use. The church champions the idea that women are an inferior gender, that homosexuals are depraved and evil, that god is a loving god despite all the misery in the world (oh wait, that’s right, it’s a TEST isn’t it!?). The Vatican is sitting on a fortune worth billions of dollars despite insisting the people follow the virtues of generosity charity and they have a proven history for defending and protecting child rapists that breed like flies in their own ranks.

      But here’s the worst thing. The church claims that a magic book with fairytales written by fleabitten tribes thousands of years ago and revised many times over the centuries is the key to all of life’s answers. It’s an institution that punishes free thought, denounces scientific fact, outright lies to their followers and teaches you that being stupid and unquestioning is the right way to live… and yet here you are having the cheek to say that I’M evil? ME!?

      The Catholic church IS a cancer that limits the world’s ability to grow and truly be at peace, and people too stupid or scared to think for themselves and see it for the hatemongering charlatan-club of disease-spreading, progress-halting pedo-protectors that it is are part of the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      01:33pm | 13/12/12

      @Shane
      The outreach programs, schools and hospitals are good, but a large portion of them carry an underlying Christian message and spread the message of god and prayer. Developing nations need healthcare and education, not something that promotes a backwards way of thinking on top of it. Two steps forward, facing backwards the whole time?

      @wakeuppls
      If you’re referring to Stalin (and this is an argument you Christians love to use), sorry to rain on your parade, but while Stalin killed millions of people, it was because of a repressive communist agenda, not in the name of atheism. I seriously can’t think of a single person who’s killed another in the name of lack of belief. I also never said that non-believers can’t be evil. Also, if you’re gonna play this game, Hitler and Anders Breivik were Christians and the Crusades actually took place in the name of god. Nice try though.

      @hammy
      There are Christians that are genuinely good people, but I don’t attribute that to the fact that they’re religious. A good Christian is still deluded in a sense. Also, I think it’s pretty fair to say that many Christians do good things because they’re fearful that if they don’t, they’re gonna burn in the fiery pits of hell for eternity in unspeakable, constant agony. The ends don’t justify the means, and if people are only good out of fear, then they’re still selfish assholes.

    • wakeuppls says:

      02:06pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous

      Learn to read. I never said in the name of Atheism. I simply stated that dictators such as Stalin and Mao were secularists and killed far more people than can be solely blamed on a religion. The problem with you religion bashers is that you only apply your “scientific analysis” to pieces of history that agree with your agenda. The truth of the matter is secular governments kill in orders of magnitude greater numbers than religious organisations.

      Besides, blaming a book written nearly 2000 years ago for murders is a lame cop-out. I much rather blame people and their screwed up nature for the crimes.

    • Shane* says:

      02:09pm | 13/12/12

      @Anon

      Re Developing Countries, when the options are:
      a) Zero Healthcare/education/welfare
      b) Healthcare from a nurse/teacher/worker wearing a crucifix
      I know which option I’d take.

      And in developed countries such as Australia, you have dwindling church attendance, and still the government health/education/welfare systems would collapse if the Catholic organisations were to ‘up stumps.’

      It’s a non-argument: The world is considerably better off with the Catholic Church’s current work. Evil? Elements of it, perhaps, but lets not tar them all with the same brush. Overwhelmingly, it is a force for good.

    • Anonymous says:

      02:39pm | 13/12/12

      @Wakeuppls
      I don’t see the point you’re trying to make then. What you’re doing is trying to pinpoint a convenient link between evil behaviour and a lack of belief. Since when was the act of killing a core belief of secularism!? Stalin was an unspeakable monster. He also happened to be an Atheist, but it wasn’t his Atheism that made him a monster. Comparatively, spreading ignorance, close-mindedness, fear and scientifically debunked garbage is a core practice of religion. It’s not a by-product. It’s a bloody key feature.

      @Shane
      No, an institution that at its very core promotes fear, discrimination, ignorance and a refusal to acknowledge facts is not a force of good. It’s a cancer. You don’t need religion to be good.

    • hammy says:

      02:59pm | 13/12/12

      Anonymous

      So without Christianity all those people would not be good people?

    • Shane* says:

      03:31pm | 13/12/12

      @Anon

      If you honestly think that at its very core the Catholic Church preaches fear and hatred then I’d wager it’s been too long since you’ve listened to a sermon.

      The average sermon preaches tolerance, respect, and encourages dialogue with other faiths. There is a palpable rage within the Catholic Church (and in this instance Church=People, Community) at the sex abuse, the cover up, and it is coupled with extreme sorrow for the victims.

      Something tells me you’ve constructed this idea in your mind (and I don’t blame you personally, since many people have done the same) that priests stand before the congregation and spit fire and brimstone about against gay people, other religions, scientists, divorcees and women… but that simply isn’t the case. Far from it. In fact, quite the opposite in many cases.

    • Stained says:

      05:15pm | 13/12/12

      Wakeuppls, Stalin was raised in the Georgian Orthodox faith and Hitler a Catholic to which the Pope at the time was involved in Hitler’s reign by ignoring the extermination of Jews.

    • Zeta says:

      10:15am | 13/12/12

      I give it a week before he gets hacked.

    • Stained says:

      05:26pm | 13/12/12

      Maybe god will catch some of these tweets flying past him.  But then if there is a god, the pope wouldn’t be needed, eh?

    • Justin of Earlwood says:

      10:45am | 13/12/12

      Sorry, you think the Pope using an iPad is a publicity boon for Apple?

      There is no surer sign that Apple has lost its edginess than one of the worlds best known, most uncool octogenarians using their products.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      12:32pm | 13/12/12

      Agree completely. Best way to make an Apple go brown is age.
      Not that being elderly prevents you from using the tech, I just don’t know how seriously you can be taken pontificating over the internet. It was made using science after all.

    • CC says:

      12:46pm | 13/12/12

      does “octogenarian” mean someone who wastefully breathes my air?

      If so, fitting description.

    • Villainsoft says:

      10:47am | 13/12/12

      ipad? I thought the pope was supposed to be infallable.

    • Nathan says:

      10:50am | 13/12/12

      Yes, how terrible, someone out there is using twitter to spread positive messages, as opposed to indulging in trolling and abuse - truly, society is going to hell in a handbasket that this travesty is taking place! Don’t force me to listen to your mindless, brainwashing, Christian sermons, it distracts me from spreading my own mindless, brainwashing, anti-institution rhetoric!

      Some of you people really need to get a grip. That, or up your medication a bit, seems to be slipping.

    • Be Fair says:

      12:10pm | 13/12/12

      Thanks Nathan, you’ve summed up my feelings on this.

    • hammy says:

      12:31pm | 13/12/12

      My sentiments too Nathan.

      Catholics are expected to be tolerant of other people’s views.
      Other people don’t have to be tolerant of Catholic views.

      Spreading good will towards others is apparently a terrible thing.

    • iansand says:

      12:58pm | 13/12/12

      Catholics tend to poke their noses into other people’s business.  Abortion is an example.  Other people have no desire to force Catholics to abort.

      If religionists would confine their attempts at mind control to the pulpit, good luck to them.  It is when they try to extend their views to the world at large, via legislation, that the rest of the world pushes back.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:59pm | 13/12/12

      So when will the Pontiff tweet the names of priests he’s ex-communicated for child sexual abuse to authorities?
      Oh, that’s right. He’s been under investigation over allegations of covering up incidents himself.
      No positive message in that is there?

    • hammy says:

      03:03pm | 13/12/12

      iansand

      Everyone pokes their nose into everyone else’s business.

      Do you support a political party at all?  Does that party tell the rest of the country how they should lead their lives, what they should do, how they should think?

      Do your parents tell you the same?

      Everyone does it, no one is making you follow.

      (Just examples that’s all)

    • Troy Flynn says:

      03:32pm | 13/12/12

      Apple fan-boys have always been insecure about what others think of their tech. Sometimes it seems like they carry on like religous zealots to anyone who dares to “poo-poo” their iProduct.
      I personally don’t like apple products as they are “dumbed down” for the mass market. I also don’t appreciate how iTunes tries to take over your computer.

    • AFR says:

      11:42am | 13/12/12

      As if he is personally posting the tweets.

    • sunny says:

      11:45am | 13/12/12

      I would have thought Ricky Ponting already had the @pontifex tag locked down ..or some tag sitter who could have made a fortune selling it back to the Pope.

    • Augustus Caesar says:

      01:59pm | 13/12/12

      Rather than sending out his meaningless blessings Jozef would be better employed chasing all those Paedophile Priests, including a few from Australia, he is hiding in Vatican City out of the place.
      Oh! Silly old me, he is only carrying on a habit he became addicted to when he covered-up for an offending priest or two in Austria.
      Bring back the old, decent, honest religions & gods we used to have. We had a god for everything. The Good, the Bad & the Ugly and what fun they all were!

    • Servaas says:

      05:10pm | 13/12/12

      I was under theimpression it was @pontifex?

    • Yawn says:

      05:13pm | 13/12/12

      Omg what a surprise. Religion-haters are on here bleating their protests and stupidity once again. It’s getting really old people. Your once loud pig-like squeal about how bad religion is is just a faint buzz….like a tiny little mosquito. Have some respect for those who have faith in something. I don’t agree with you but I tolerate your (ridiculous) views. Grow up, stop being a bogan and set an example for the younger generation. Who will teach our children to accept other races, cultures and religions? You wont but count on the fact that I will.

 

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