Papal Tweets, AWOL

A lively and curious-minded reader of First Things just forwarded a link to an article on CNET News broadcasting the fact that Benedict XVI’s postings to Twitter ended today, the last day of his tenure as pope. The article is here .

The writer, Chris Matyszczyk, displays a bit of disappointment: “It’s hard not to think that the decision to remove Pope Benedict’s tweets was taken by a vacant seat, an apparatchik of absolutism.”

It is equally feasible to think that the removal of the tweets was done at Benedict’s own request. One early press dispatch, back in December, reported that the pope seemed “hesitant” at first. Well, yes. He would be if he had been pressured cajoled into the undertaking. The Pontifical Council for Culture, the bureaucratic inspiration—if that is the word—for @pontifex, has shown little reluctance about genuflecting to secular idols under the pretext of promoting the gospel. Benedict himself has the wit and grace of mind to recognize that every such bow ends as Vigo Demant foresaw: a proclamation of secularism “in a Christian idiom.”

The Twitter account remains open. Perhaps we should pray it stays silent.