Shortly after Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio appeared on the white balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on Wednesday as Pope Francis, a message written in Latin appeared on the verified @Pontifex Twitter account:
HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM
Translation: "We have Pope Francis."
Within minutes, the first tweet from the new pope—the 266th pontiff and first South American to ever lead the Roman Catholic Church—was retweeted more than 30,000 times and favorited thousands more.
But some Twitter users poked fun at Pope Francis, noting that the first tweet attributed to the 76-year-old was, like an email from your grandfather, rendered in all-caps.
"First tweet, all capitals," Twitter user Joseph Dana wrote. "I hope this isn't going to be a trend."
"OH MAN, I HOPE ALL HIS TWEETS ARE ALLCAPS, DRUNK HULK STYLE," wrote another.
[Related: Twitter reacts to new pope]
Francis' tweet wasn't the first to be issued by the papacy. In December, Pope Benedict XVI became the first pope to join Twitter, tweeting 140-character-or-less spiritual messages to more than 1.5 million followers in eight languages: Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French.
Benedict sent the first tweet, with the rest of His Holiness'-approved tweets published by someone in the Vatican.
In the tweet after announcing his impending retirement, Benedict made no mention of his departure or the future of the papal post, focusing instead on the start of Lent and the traditional preparation for Easter.
After Benedict's official resignation last month, all of his tweets were archived on the Vatican's website, and the @Pontifex feed, like the pope's seat itself, was listed "sede vacante." On Wednesday, after white smoke signaling a new pope billowed from the Sistine Chapel, "sede vacante" was removed.
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