Jesus Christ was the world's first tweeter because his pronouncements were "brief and full of meaning", Vatican cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said Wednesday.
Christ "used tweets before everyone else, with elementary phrases
made up of fewer than 45 characters like 'Love one another'", said
Ravasi, the Vatican's equivalent of a culture minister.
"A bit like in television today, he delivered a message through a
story or a symbol," Ravasi said at a conference with Italy's leading
The cardinal emphasised the importance of clergy making full use of modern-day computer technology.
"If a cleric, a pastor is not interested in communication, they are defying their duty," he said.
The Vatican has stepped up its presence on the Internet in recent
years, initially under Benedict XVI and now under Pope Francis, who has
more than three million followers on Twitter in English alone.
Francis has also resorted to more traditional media, cold-calling
ordinary faithful who have written to him and writing lengthy letters on
religious issues that have appeared in the Italian press.