Catholics United hopes the pope will encourage political leaders to consider compassion as they work toward an agreement.
WASHINGTON/VATICAN CITY — To give tweets is to receive them. Knowing that, a Catholic group wants one of Twitter's newest users, Pope Benedict XVI, to pressure Democrats and Republicans to show compassion in talks on the "fiscal cliff," tax increases and spending cuts that begin in January unless bargainers find an alternative budget.
A day before the pope plans to begin responding to tweeted questions, Catholics United urged people Tuesday to tweet him first. The group, which advocates for the poor, wants people to ask him to state his views on the partisan battle over controlling federal deficits, hoping he will bring compassion to the debate.
After weeks of anticipation, the pope sent his first tweet Wednesday.
"Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart."
The tweet was sent when the 85-year-old pope tapped on a tablet at the end of his weekly general audience in the Vatican before thousands of people.
Catholics United spokesman Chris Pumpelly said hundreds of people have so far tweeted the pope on the issue on his new handle, @Pontifex.
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