This comes a few hours after Pope Benedict left the Vatican for the last time yesterday as the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
Before his departure, he tweeted farewell to his more than 1.6 million Twitter followers: “Thank you for your love and support. May you always experience the joy that comes from putting Christ at the centre of your lives.”
Confirming the inactive state of the Twitter account, Monsignor Paul Tighe, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told Forbes that “during the period between today and the election of new pope the account will be inactive, not shut down”, contrary to previous reports by Vatican Radio.
Pope Benedict XVI became the first ever Catholic leader to engage his followers via social media. The account was created last year and at the time of his leaving office had less than 40 tweets reaching over 2.5 million followers on English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, French and Arabic accounts.