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Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet at the Vatican, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, brought to him at the end of his general audience. It read: "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.". (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Pope hits 1M mark as he tweets: 'Dear Friends... '

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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI hit the 1 million Twitter follower mark on Wednesday as he sent his first tweet from his new account.

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In perhaps the most drawn out Twitter launch ever, the 85-year-old Benedict pushed the button on a tablet brought to him at the end of his general audience Wednesday.

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