Facebook Bias

facebook-thumbs-downIn the past few years, Facebook has begun blocking priests, deacons and religious from using their religious titles. They use the excuse that their titles are not their every day names. I have new for Facebook. My every day name is “Father Finelli.” My parishioners and places that I do business with call me Father Finelli. About a year ago, Facebook blocked me for using Father Jay Finelli, and when I told them my situation they reinstated me with the same. However, about two months ago, they blocked me out again and required me to give them legal documents to prove that I am who I say I am. The same has happened to a number of Bishops, priests, deacons and religious. The latest I read about this morning was Msgr. Charles Pope. Msgr. Pope has decided that he has no need to prove home he is and will not return to Facebook until they allow us to use our religious titles. Read more about that here. I hardly think that Facebook cares less about any religious person.

However, a good friend sent me a private message about a Facebook apology to Drag Queens. Upon doing a quick Google search, a CBS news item dated October 2, 2014 popped up.

Facebook is apologizing to drag queens and the transgender community for deleting accounts that used drag names like Lil Miss Hot Mess rather than legal names such as Bob Smith.

The apology is provided in PDF in case it is removed.

Isn’t it amazing that Facebook will apologize to men who use woman’s names, and restore their Facebook pages, but will not do the same for religious professionals who use their titles 24/7. Our titles are who we are. A priest is called Father, not only when he is “on duty,” which he is at all times. But, when he is out to dinner, on his day off and when he is on vacation. A priest is a spiritual father and assumes this name, not for some 2 hour performance, but through the game of his ordination.

It is time for Facebook to follow the example of the other social networks and respect us for who we are. Google, Twitter, Pintrest and a number of other networks accept us, why not Facebook? My name is Father Jay Finelli and this is my real identity.

24 thoughts on “Facebook Bias

  1. Denying people who have duly earned them, titles that embody their identities, seems to me a form of subjective persecution and one that is in conflict with religious freedom. Where will you stop with this? It is getting so out of hand and so very offensive.

  2. Good for you, FATHER FINELLI for standing up to what is right. If I am ever fortunate enough to meet you I will indeed call you Father!

  3. Thanks Fr. Finelli. I just can’t believe how nasty Facebook has become. I know they are losing numbers, especially among the young. Can’t they see that alienating users is bad for business.

  4. Is there a specific place to protest this? I mean, not just with random people contacting some nebulous fb customer service, but an actual protest site? Because, it seems to me that’s what we need – along with the same exact language that the drag queen community used to elicit apologies.

    • Drag queen “Community” ? I think part of the problem is that, by calling them a community, we empower them. They may be a group, a sex-sect, even; but, community? No.

    • Actually there is a good clericalism and a bad clericalism. Let’s start with the bad clericalism. That is when liberals inside and outside of the Church try to blur the distinction between ordained clergy and the laity, as if there is no difference. Clerical titles: “Holy Father,” “Your Eminence,” “Your Excellency,” “Father,” “Deacon,” all distinguish our God given roles in the Body of Christ, the Church. To be who you are and to dress according to your station in life is not clericalism in the bad sense. It is “right and just.” So for someone to deny a legitimate cleric from his title, proper dress or ministry to make him “equal” to others is the worst kind of clericalism. The Church’s instruction on Liturgical Abuse, Redemptionis Sacramentum makes this abundantly clear, when they write: “To be avoided is the danger of obscuring the complementary relationship between the action of clerics and that of laypersons, in such a way that the ministry of laypersons undergoes what might be called a certain “clericalization”, while the sacred ministers inappropriately assume those things that are proper to the life and activity of the lay faithful. (45)”

      At the same time, there is a bad clericalism among clergy. That would be when use their status to gain undue privilege. Or when Father has to have the best of everything, living beyond his means and the means of his people. Bad clericalism is when a priest is never available for the needs of his people and avoids them as much as possible. Not to say that a priest/ cleric doesn’t have the need and necessity to have time alone for prayer and healthy recreation.

      So don’t ascribe wanting our rightful title as “clericalism,” because it is not!

      If you want to read more on “Proper clericalism,” visit Fr. Z’s blog.

  5. I would never call a priest of nun by there everyday name. Their family might, but nobody in our parish would ever show such disrespect. This goes back multiple generations. Who is fb to decide what a person’s name is. This is a pure form of discrimination of Christians.

    • I agree. I am appalled by the unbridled arrogance of Facebook. How dare you, FB, presume to insult and restrict clergyman in such a fashion? The will-to-power, the creation of your very own little 1984, seems too strong for you, FB, to resist. But: essentially, it is your intention to be anti Christian, however much you endeavour to cloak it in social-media-speak. The world, it seems, is full of ‘little Hitlers’, and FB is no exception. I’d just like to try conclusions with one or two of them across a table…

  6. My son recently had his acct. (Green Scapular) disabled by FB, saying that this is not a person. This acct. had a friend’s list of more than 4000 people who were praying together, sharing stories of faith, and more recently many were joining in a weekly one half hour of Green Scapular prayers for conversions, healing, return to the faith of those who had fallen away, etc. The prayer is: Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen Needless to say he was shocked and outraged, wondering why, after several years of existence as such, it had become unacceptable to FB.

    • This doesn’t surprise me. The devil has roped so many people in with his lies and false promises, invaded their minds convincing them to doing his work. A priest I continue to highly admire once said,”We’ve read the Book. We know who wins.” Keep the faith!

  7. This is a sad and messed up world we live in. We have to stand firm of who we are and our faith. Good for you father

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