Pope Benedict XVI sends a tweet from an iPad

(Photo: CNS)

By Susan Ann Davis (SDI Chairman) and Ashley Simms (SDI Intern)

Pope Benedict XVI now has a new title to match an historic retirement not seen in 600 years, “Emeritus”.

The word, traced back to 1794 fittingly means one has earned the right to retain a title in retirement.

This is not the first time Pope Benedict XVI made an unexpected decision. A year ago, his Holiness, a name he retains, offered his blessings to social media, saying that the endless conversation online “demonstrates the restlessness of human beings, ceaselessly searching for truths, of greater or lesser import that can offer meaning and hope to their lives.”  He continued his musings about social media during the 46th World Day of Social Communications by suggesting that people find a median between digital communications and responsible spiritual reflection.

We will no longer hear from Benedict XVI, but Pandora’s box has been opened.  The next Pope will need to have many attributes; let’s hope digital media savvy is among them.