Tuesday, March 5, 2024

OFWs are top Twitter followers of Pope Francis

Majority of the followers of Pope Francis in his Twitter account @Pontifex are from Muslim-dominated countries such as those in the Middle East because these are where Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are located.

Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Vatican. Photo credit: cbcpnews.com

This is according to Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Vatican, who said the bulk of the followers of the Holy Father are actually composed of OFWs.

The Vatican official is in the country to attend the Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.

?We were surprised to see that the pope had a huge following in the Middle East and the Gulf States. We then realized that those were Filipinos,? Tighe said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops? Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) website.

Tighe, who led the team that created and maintains the Pope?s Twitter account, noted that Twitter has been an important tool for OFWs to exercise their faith.

?These Filipinos are in a situation [that is not easy] for Catholics, but Twitter is something that allowed them have some connection to the Church,? he said.

On December 12, 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI posted the first Papal tweet. He was succeeded by Pope Francis after the former resigned in March and continued the operation of the Papal Twitter account.

Tighe revealed that a tweet is usually composed by the Pope in Spanish or Italian. The team then translates it to seven other languages such as French, Portuguese, and Arabic.

At the summit, Tighe said that to effectively evangelize the digital world, it is necessary for the Catholic Church to speak in a language that is understandable to today?s generation.

?If we are to share to Good News with our brothers and sisters in the ?digital continent?, we must speak a ?language? they can understand and be present as authentic witnesses to our faith,? he said. — PNA

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