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Local Catholics follow the Pope... on Twitter

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 15 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 17 2012 06:17:36 AM CST

Pope is on twitter

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

It's a new way to reach Catholics and share a message with the world.

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first tweet four days ago and now some say they are hoping for a re-tweet.

The Diocese in Allentown says it's a good thing that the pontiff is reaching out via Twitter. In four days the pope already has over one million followers.

It all started with the first tweet.

Pope Benedict XVI under the Twitter name Pontifex 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."

“The church has always used all available means of communications to reach it's people and to evangelize people who aren't necessarily in the church," said Matt Kerr, director of communications for the Diocese of Allentown.

The Diocese of Allentown has been on Twitter for about two years now.

Many believe the with the pope joining the ranks it may bring some younger parishioners back to church and keep others engaged in their faith.

“I think it is definitely going to help reach younger people, which is people we do have to reach because they don't go to church as much as they did when they were at home,” said Kerr.  

“My teacher actually told us about it," said Catherine Garrity, who attends St. Thomas More church in Allentown.

I think it's kind of weird but I think it's really cool. I'll definitely follow him and stuff.”

The pope sent seven tweets and some think they know what the next tweet may be about.

“Since it's like Christmas maybe like how to prepare yourself for Christmas or stuff like that," added Sydney Bruckler, another parishioner at St. Thomas More.

The pope's first message was retweeted over 60,000 times.

Now some are just hoping to see who will be the first person to be retweeted by his holiness.

And a lot of people are trying.

“It probably won't happen, but I will try,” added Bruckler. 

The Diocese of Allentown says people like interacting with the church via the web.

They also have a Facebook page and are posting video to YouTube.