Could Pope Benedict be the next Lady Gaga?

The pontiff is now on Twitter, the Vatican said Monday, and is rapidly racking up followers under the handle @Pontifex.

He had 30,000 followers – and no Tweets – by 7:30 a.m.

Lady Gaga, the most-followed person on the social-networking site, has over 31.7 million followers.

Pope Benedict will start tweeting on Dec. 12, the feast of the Madonna of Guadalupe.  According to a Vatican spokesman, his first Tweets will be responses to questions.

The tweets will be going out in eight languages: Spanish, English, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Arabic and French.

The Vatican has been making more efforts to connect with young Catholics in recent years, starting a Facebook page in 2009 and releasing a “Gangnam Style” Advent video.