Parvum Opus: Followers Flock To Pope's Latin Twitter Feed

*Against all Vatican expectations, the pope’s Twitter account in Latin has gained more than 100,000 followers in six months and continues to grow.

Followers are not exclusively Roman Catholics or Latin scholars, but represent a wide variety of professions and religions from all over the world. Some go so far as to claim that the language of the ancient Romans is perfectly suited to 21st-century social media.

Pope Benedict XVI launched the first papal Twitter account last December in eight languages, including Arabic. Soon, there were millions of followers.

Then letters started pouring in asking why the pope wasn’t tweeting in the official language of the Vatican.

When the Latin account was launched in January, Vatican officials didn’t expect more than 5,000 Latin nerds, that is, followers. But by May, it had surpassed Polish and was in a tie with German at more than 100,000.

“The surprise is that nerds are in all walks of life — cab drivers from South Africa, homemakers, journalists,” says Monsignor Daniel Gallagher, one of the six language experts working in the Vatican’s Latin Office.

He says followers are of all ages.

“Kids 8 years old, up to people who are 88 are also following the conversations and participating in the conversation,” he says.

Gallagher says his office gets letters — as well as tweets — from all over the world. Many are from Muslims and atheists who don’t necessarily like the Catholic Church but are grateful it’s keeping the ancient language alive.

He acknowledges that Twitter can encourage shallow thinking and knee-jerk reactions, but is convinced Latin’s economy makes it better suited for tweeting than many other languages.*

That was most interesting; thanks for posting that info.

You’re welcome!


I couldn’t of possibly imagined how many people would be following this.
Even those who are not affiliated with the Catholic church!
Thank you for such an interesting read! :slight_smile:


In that case, you may not be familiar with the Latin news on Finnish radio.

BBC story

The news in Latin on national radio gets 75,000 listeners, which may not sound like much, but on a per capita basis is more than some BBC Radio 4 programmes get.

NY Times story

Deutsche Welle story

@ Pontifex_ln


Latest tweet:

Si sensum vitae in Iesu invenimus, eos negligere non possumus qui patiuntur quique sunt tristes.

Google translation: If we find the meaning of life in Jesus, we can not ignore those who suffer and those who are sad.


From 2 days ago,

Non praeteribit umquam nos, a quo Ecclesia demum gubernetur, Christum existere Ipsum quique fecundet nostrum prosperet apostolatum.

Anyone want to do this one?


Omnes peccatores sumus. Sed deprecemur Dominum ne simulatores simus. Simulatores nesciunt quid sit venia, gaudium, Dei amor.

We are all sinners. But we appeal to the Lord not to be simulators/imitators/hypocrites. The simulators/imitators/hypocrites do not know what is pardon, joy, love of God.

Can anyone find a better word for simulatores?

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit