Sometimes it’s easy to forget how quickly the digital age has revolutionised the speed of news transmission. As a radio documentary recently reminded me, only 30 years ago news stories and photos from the frontline of the Falklands War often took two weeks to reach the news headlines.
As I’m the first to complain about the lethargy of our local internet service, for the sake of fairness, I would like to confess a change of heart. Recently, via my computer tucked away in darkest Hawkesbury Upton, I was able to pick up news of the pope’s appointment even while the white smoke was still wafting out of a Vatican chimney. (How slow must the Pope’s wifi be if lighting a fire is the quicker than sending an email? )
By chance, I had my Twitter account open when up popped “New pope” on the “trends” list – a handy menu tab that flags up the most talked-about subjects of the moment. These are often, but not always, breaking news stories.
Always eager to experience history in the making, I immediately clicked to the page that showed the latest “new pope” messages. At that second, there flashed up on the screen, a message from the Vatican’s very own Twitter account, @Pontifex: “Habeamus Papem Franciscum” – Latin for “We have Pope Francis”.
A Pope tweeting in Latin? Now there’s an enchanting meeting of ancient and modern. I wonder whether he could tell me the Latin word for “internet”?
(This post was originally written for the April 2013 issue of the Hawkesbury Parish News)
If you liked this post, you might enjoy my other recent article inspired by the Pope: Nominal Determinism, Pope Francis and Other Keywords I Have Loved