In 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.