The Pope is set to join social networking site Twitter

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Twitter is set to be graced with a holy presence from next week.

From December 12, none other than The Pope himself will be sharing his words of wisdom to the Internet community via the social networking site.

To mark the occasion, the Vatican has announced that the account will open with a Q&A session to prove the account truly belongs to Benedict XVI.

In a clever piece of online PR, the Vatican has also announced that The Pope's tweets from his @pontifex Twitter account will be a step above a certain President Obama's: as they will always represent the words of The Pontiff himself.

Secretary of the pontifical council for social communication (PCSC), Monsignor Paul Tighe, said: "With the Obama White House, a tweet will come out every now and then that is actually written by the President.

"Here, every tweet will be seen and approved by the Pope."

The Pope is not due to post a tweet from the account until 12 December, but already has almost 500,000 followers. He joins religious company including the Dalai Lama who has around five million followers. However, both of them have a long way to go before catching up with the likes of Lady Gaga, who has 32m followers.

One of the Vatican's media advisers said The Pope himself, at the grand old age of 85, would not be sitting on his notepad to type out messages to his Twitter followers, nor would he be likely to sit re-tweeting the latest trending topic - however they did confirm the tweets would represent his words.

The Twitter account marks the latest in a number of social media ventures by the Vatican: it has already set up a YouTube channel as well as the Pope2you website.

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