"Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets."
quote of Jesus is found in the Book of Matthew and is one of the
Bible's most widely repeated. It is also, one prominent Catholic might
note, 126 characters long - totally tweetable.
cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi told press in Italy Wednesday that,
essentially, Jesus was the "world's first tweeter," according to The Telegraph.
No, history's most famous carpenter didn't have a BlackBerry or a
Twitter avatar over 2000 years ago. What Ravasi meant was that Jesus's
messages were short, but often powerful, much like the way many people
communicate on Twitter today.
"[Christ] used tweets before
everyone else, with elementary phrases made up of fewer than 45
characters like 'Love one another," said Ravasi.
Of course, to
prove the cardinal's point, there are now several Twitter accounts
devoted to tweeting the words of Jesus: @All_About_Jesus and
@LovLikeJesus, for example.
Ravasi also said, "a bit like in
television today," Jesus used symbolism and allegory to convey his
messages simply, and that, "If a cleric, a pastor is not interested in
communication, they are defying their duty."
The Vatican does seem to be on board with these sentiments. Under the name @Pontifex, Pope Benedict XVI
became the first pope to tweet last December. This Twitter account, and
its 8 other language syndicates, have since been assumed by Pope
Francis, where he tweets to his millions of followers regularly (the
Spanish language account, @Pontifex_es, has almost 4 million followers alone).