Twitter faithful flock to Pope

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Even though he hasn’t sent a single tweet yet, Pope Benedict had more than half a million Twitter followers in eight languages by yesterday, the day after the Vatican unveiled his handle: @Pontifex.

They included people ranging from the Roman Catholic faithful to a Jewish head of state.

“Your holiness, welcome to Twitter. Our relations with the Vatican are at their best & can form a basis to further peace everywhere,” tweeted Israeli president Shimon Peres, who at 89 is four years older than Benedict.

The Vatican said Benedict will start tweeting on mostly spiritual topics from 12 December.