Pope Benedict XVI has sent his first tweet to launch a Vatican news and information portal on the 60th anniversary of his ordination.

His message read: “Dear Friends, I just launched News.va Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”

The Pope, 84, tapped an iPad to activate the portal and send the tweet.

Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are all now being used by the Vatican to spread its Christian message.

Its Twitter account has more than 33,000 followers but “follows” nobody.

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