Pope Benedict XVI types out the "tweet" himself (photo courtesy of the Vatican)

Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first-ever tweet today, announcing the launch of a new news site from the Vatican News Twitter account.

Benedict, though new to Twitter himself, has recognized the power of digital media throughout his papacy, according to a statement from Rome.

“Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society, and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level. Yet the recent explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry,” he said last year, affirming the thousands of Catholic tweeters and bloggers who take their ministry online.

Here is the historic tweet:

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