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Twitter says goodbye to the pope, with a laugh

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Pope officially retires Thursday as Vatican deletes his Twitter history
  • Twitter users were uncommonly silent until the retirement was official
  • @pontifex account gains 500 new followers after deleting tweets

(CNN) -- For the first time in nearly 600 years, a reigning pope has resigned. And in what might also be a landmark event, Twitter was not flooded with jokes or parody accounts when the announcement was made two weeks ago.

On February 11 @davewiner tweeted, "Perfect storm for Pope jokes. Since he's not dead no one can complain 'You're being insensitive.'"

But in the days that followed, not much surfaced. It was so odd that tweets like this were more common: "Did I miss the memo about no Pope jokes?" tweeted @NouveauBroke.

Although a parody account, @RetiredPopeXVI, did appear, it only has 577 followers and sent out a paltry five tweets.

2012: The pope joins Twitter

That all changed on Thursday when Pope Benedict XVI slipped off his red loafers and officially became pope emeritus. Curiously, the Vatican also deleted all 39 of his tweets from the official @pontifex Twitter account. (They are archived here.)

And slowly, the jokes began to surface. Here are a handful we found humorous.

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