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Catholic Church 'into social media in a big way'

Pope Benedict XVI has started tweeting in Latin from his @pontifex account.

The messages are part of the Vatican's effort to support a revival in the ancient language.

Speaking to the Today programme, the BBC's David Willey in Rome said: "The Catholic Church is into social media in a big way. They've set up a new department to deal not just with tweeting but with bloggers, and they have the Pope on YouTube.

"They're very sophisticated about this, they think social media is a great way of spreading the gospel message."

Peter Jones, co-founder of Friends of the Classics charity and author of the Ancient and Modern column in The Spectator, explained that the Latin for tweet would be "pagina publica breviloquentis", meaning "the public page for someone speaking briefly".

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