Pope Benedict, white-haired, 85, and a neophyte to social media site Twitter, has beaten out 18-year old heartthrob Justin Bieber to set a percentage record for retweeting by his followers, the Vatican said on Thursday.
While Canadian singer-songwriter Bieber has roughly 15 times as many followers - 31.7 million - the Vatican newspaper said Benedict had beaten Bieber on retweets.
It said about 50 per cent of the Pope's followers had retweeted his first tweet on December 12 while only 0.7 per cent of Bieber's followers had re-tweeted one of the singer's most popular tweets on September 26, when he commented on the death by cancer of a six-year-old fan.
The Vatican said this was part of a wider trend in which people were looking for more spiritual content.
The pope already tweets in English, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Arabic. The newspaper said he will start tweeting in Latin and Chinese soon.