Pope's resignation sparks online joke-fest

Last updated 14:53 13/02/2013

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The resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has proved to be manna from heaven for social media pranksters, with thousands of people grabbing the opportunity to poke gentle fun at the pontiff.

"You know the economy is bad when even God is laying people off," one wag wrote.

Within seconds of Benedict XVI making his announcement on Monday night the hashtag shot to the top of Twitter's trends list.

There were plenty of tributes and discussion about his possible successor.

But jokes were the order of the day.

The most frequently repeated gag revolved around a play on the Pope's name.

"Woke up this morning to Ex Benedict," one version read.

Others suggested the Pope had simply had a tough day at the office.

"It's a comfort to know that even the Pope has an overwhelming urge to quit his job on a Monday," one user posted.

Another added: "The Pope is hardly the first person to lose interest in their real job so soon after joining Twitter."

The Pope joined the micro-blog site in December and has sent 34 tweets from his pontifex account.

He didn't use the account to break news of his retirement - though he did gain plenty more online followers on Tuesday.

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- AAP

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