Here’s a comparison we never thought we’d make: the Pope is proving to be more Twitter-popular than pop culture tween icon Justin Bieber.

In his first full week on Twitter, Pope Benedict XVI is already scoring impressive stats.

A recent analysis shows that the Pope’s Twitter followers are exponentially more likely to retweet his messages than The Biebs’ followers are.

Here’s a look at the two stars’ most popular tweets to date:

On September 26, Bieber posted what turned out to be his most retweeted tweet ever, and the second most retweeted message of all of 2012.

Bieber wrote the tweet in honor of his six-year-old fan Avalanna Roth who died of cancer.

He has almost 32 million Twitter followers, and less than 1% of those retweeted that tweet.

In contrast, the Pope’s inaugural tweet turned out to be his most popular.

How many retweets? 5% of the Pope’s more than 1.2 million followers. That completely blows Bieber’s retweet rate out of the water.

One explanation for the lopsided retweet rates, offers the New York Daily News, is that religious figures and churches see a particularly high engagement rate on Twitter due to how amenable the medium is to their trade. If you think about, a highly viral micro-blogging platform is an ideal megaphone for spiritual leaders to reach their followers.

According to Twitter, while the average religious leader can expect one retweet for every 500 followers, the average musician only sees one retweet for every 30,000 followers.

Would you be more likely to retweet the Pope or Justin Bieber? Let us know in the comments.

(Pope image from Shutterstock)