Holy Father will send his first tweet next week

Pope Benedict XVI has become the latest religious leader to join Twitter.

The Holy Father, who will tweet as @pontifex on the social networking site, already has 75,000 followers, although he will not write anything until December 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadeloupe.

Although the 85-year-old pontiff will send the first tweet, it is understood that aides will handle the account. Only one computer in the Vatican’s secretariat of state will be used for the tweets to ensure the account is not hacked.

The tweets will be in English, Spanish, Italian, French Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic.

The first tweet will be in response to a selected question under the #askpontifex hashtag, with the Vatican encouraging Twitter users to ask Pope Benedict questions.

Among the other handles the Vatican considered was @BenedictusPPXVI.