In present times many Christian priests, pastors, bishops, archbishops, and evangelists actively manage their social media profiles, accounts and blogs. In this and that my posts I have already explored new Papal Twitter account @Pontifex, launched 3 months ago. So, now I would like to discover Catholic social media further, and take a look at microblogs of cardinals who this year started or renewed sharing their inspirations in the social Web.
On Sunday, March 3 I found the tweet by His Eminence Cardinal Turkson who serves for Catholics in Ghana, Africa. He is one of those 115 cardinals eligible to elect the next 226th Pope. This week they gathered in Vatican for Papal conclave. “Good Morning. I ask for your prayers that the Holy Spirit will inspire us as we gather in conclave to elect our new Holy Father. Blessings”, he tweeted from Rome.
Above mentioned Turkson’s tweet was the 6th on his new microblog @TurksonCardinal, opened just on February 28. But in 2 weeks this African cardinal already gained 4,900 followers. It’s not strange, because he is also an influential person within the Catholic clergy – President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
However the most active Catholic twitter-er from Africa is Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, OFM with his @CardinalNapier. This Archbishop of Durban, South Africa tweeted more than 800 times and has 5,200 followers.
Without any doubt, the most active twitter-ers among Catholic cardinals are those who are from the United States, where Twitter appeared in 2005.
Twitter leader among American cardinals is His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan with his verified account @CardinalDolan. He was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009. Tymothy Dolan posted 229 times and has more than 90,000 virtual followers.
On the 2nd place is the Cardinal Seán, Archbishop of Boston with his @CardinalSeán. He tweeted 340 times, but has fewer followers than his colleague from New York – 12,800.
On the 3rd place is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington since 2006 and cardinal since 2010. His account @Cardinal_Wuerl is followed by 1,150 people, but he tweeted very rarely yet – only 46 times. Probably, so little number of followers is a result of abandoning Twitter for a whole year from December 2011 to this February. As his feed shows, Cardinal Wuerl renewed tweeting after Benedict XVI resignation.
On the 4th place is retired in 2011 Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony. He just launched his Twitter account @CardinalMahony in January this year, but with 37 tweets he already gained 3,200 followers. His 35th tweet was from Vatican. “All 115 of the eligiible Electors for the next Pope are now in Rome. Hope date for Conclave is set soon. Your prayers are really needed,” he wrote.
Among European cardinals I found two on Twitter.
First and most popular is @CardRavasi of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi from Rome who is Italian prelate, currently serves in the Roman Curia as President of the Pontifical Council for Culture. He tweeted 910 times and has more than 42,800 followers. His account in English @CardRavasi_en has 3,700 followers, and Spanish @CardRavasi_sp – 1,900.
Two cardinals from Latin America are also active microbloggers.
The second is Mexican Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega from Guadalajara. He tweeted 103 times and his account @CardenalRobles has more than 2,400 followers.
If I missed other Catholic cardinals on Twitter, please let me know in your comments.
- Vatican: Cardinals to Begin Conclave on Tuesday (voanews.com)
- Updated: Maltese Cardinal to give meditation at beginning of conclave (timesofmalta.com)
- Cardinals to vote on date for election of new pope (cnn.com)
- Church’s cardinals to start meeting Monday (news.blogs.cnn.com)