The Pope tweets, the Internet freaks

The remarkable thing about Francis is not that he’s fundamentally changing the theology of the Church, nor that he’s carving out a space for the pope as a heavyweight in the economics public sphere.

It’s that he’s consistently able to match the themes that animate his spirituality and faith with issues that people around the world are thinking about, such as economic justice, income disparities, and poverty.

Nearly 13,000 people retweeted his statement about inequality and social evil—clearly, this idea resonates.

If Francis seems radical, it’s because he has a remarkable PR-savvy, winning the obsessive attention of bloggers and journalists, earning the retweets of the masses, and charming economists and his flock in one fell tweet.

Has the pope subtly endorsed the new book of a leftist French economist on Twitter?

This is the question Slate, the Daily Beast, and the Huffington Post breathlessly asked when @Pontifex once again took to social media yesterday:

Inequality is the root of social evil.

It’s totally possible that Francis is an avid student of economics and has diligently picked up a copy of Thomas Piketty’s new book about 21st-century capitalism—I would never venture to speculate on Papal reading lists.

But it doesn’t seem very likely that the pope is trying to weigh on the somewhat-rarefied debate sparked by this book. Continue reading.

Emma Green is an associate editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the National Channel, manages’s homepage, and writes about religion and culture.

Source: The Atlantic

Image: Google+

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