Forbes | The Awl
Benedict XVI is once again Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger; the pope resigned today. The question is: What's going to happen to his Twitter followers?

Benedict's account will not shut down: “During the period between today and the election of new pope the account will be inactive,” Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Monsignor Paul Tighe tells Alex Kantrowitz. The new pope will have the option to start tweeting from the account.

“Obviously we leave all decisions to the new man,” wrote Tighe. “But we would hope that he might continue to use @pontifex, which would maintain continuity.”

One buried bit of news there: the new pope will definitely be a man (sorry, E.J. Dionne).

The account now reads "Sede Vacante" ("seat vacant") and all of Benedict's tweets have been deleted. Harsh.

Previously: Pope Benedict tweets for the first time | Pope Benedict XVI resigns: What you need to know || How Vatican blogger Rocco Palmo is getting ready to cover the conclave for the next Pope"