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Pope’s arrival on Twitter sparks comments on gays, women and child abuse

Pope’s arrival on Twitter sparks comments on gays, women and child abuse

The Pope has finally arrived on Twitter – sparking praise from many but also attracting criticism over his stance on issues including gay marriage.

Benedict XVI, tweeting under his formal title of Pontifex, has already attracted over 1 million followers – making him bigger than anyone called Jesus on the social networking platform.

The head of the Catholic Church has attracted lots of faithful followers who have been enthusiastically retweeting his comments. But many of the comments left in response to Benedict have criticized his conservative stance on contraception, women in the church and gay issues.

And others have expressed their anger over paedophilia in the Catholic Church.

By tweeting benign messages such as ‘any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?’ the Pontiff has opened the field to responses such as  ‘don’t cover up child rape’ and ‘we could all become priests. Well men could anyway’.

And his views on LGBT people and issues have also come under the spotlight.

One respondent, Klubbkidd, said the Pope should be ‘preaching more acceptance, your Holiness. The church has lost its footing in adapting to the times’.

And others used jokes to mock Benedict. ‘Frootifer Vajpayee’ tweeted: ‘Why doesn’t the Pontifex allow Hi-fives in the Vatican City, Rome? Because, HI-V.’

Another just labelled him a ‘bummer’ – that tweet has now been deleted.

The Pope comments in eight languages including Spanish, Polish and Arabic. Although not yet in the same league as Lady Gaga, it should be noted that the Pontiff’s number of tweets have yet to reach double figures.

Benedict is not generally typing the messages himself but Vatican officials say the comments are his.

The Pope’s first welcome ‘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’ has been retweeted over 56,000 times.