The Seven People Pope Benedict XVI Follows On Twitter

Pope Benedict XVI just got a Twitter account—@Pontifex. Finally! And not tweeting a single thing so far has netted His Naziness Holiness well upwards of 100,000 followers. Dat’s alotta Catholics! Or people who find Catholicism funny (overlap: 70%). Since the digital world has been so keen to welcome Benny to their shores, might we check out the seven people he bothered to follow back?

1. @Pontifex_de: This is also the Pope, but in German! Makes sense. That’s where he’s from, we hear.

2. @Pontifex_es: ¡AY CARAMBA! The Pope en español! Again, just the main Pope Twitter feed in a different language, with added soap opera melodrama.

3. @Pontifex_pt: Almost certainly the best thing about this Portuguese version (hello Brazil!) is that here the Pope goes by “Papa Bento.”

4. @Pontifex_pl: The Polish edition, no doubt a tribute to Pope John Paul II. Will presumably have the Pope’s many, many Polish jokes edited out.

5. @Pontifex_it: Does Italy really need this? I thought the Pope just stood out on his balcony with a microphone when he wanted to talk to Italians.

6. @Pontifex_fr: France’s Pope Benoît XVI posts here. No word yet on whether Pope Benedict will excommunicate Benoît for blasphemy, or what this apparent schism means for the church.


Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

The Vatican Cracks Down on Dress Code

Earlier this week, guards at the Vatican revealed themselves to be even more priggish than previously thought by refusing entry to tourists who were “inappropriately” dressed. In the past, visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica have been required to dress a bit modestly, but the Swiss Guards—the Pope’s private army—decided to extend the rules to the entire Vatican City State. Females had to power shop for shawls and scarves from nearby hawkers to cover their shoulders, and men had to throw down some Euros for long trousers.

Dressing demurely at temples in India, we get. Mosques in the Middle East? Done and done. But Vatican City State? Please. As if the Church has always worn a halo. “Given all the scandals the Church has been involved in, what possible right can it have to be preaching about the morality of sleeveless dresses?” said one woman in her seventies, identified only as Maria. Let’s not forget Pope Ratzi failing to act against priests who sexually abuse children — or all those priests. The Vatican City is home to a post office, supermarket, and pharmacy frequented regularly by Romans, who were clearly not happy about the extemporaneous dress code decision.