I think I may have mentioned my plan to change legally my first name to “Monsignor”, ’cause that’s about the only way I’ll ever get the title.
Irony abounds around my friend Msgr. Charles Pope, in Washington DC, a fine pastor and blogger. He has been give the bounce by the execrable Facebook – not for having only one gender – but for having the actual real title “Monsignor”.
He wrote me the other day – and I apologize to him for not getting to this sooner – with my emphases:
Just a brief note to inform you that I have been blocked from Facebook. They claim that Msgr. Charles Pope is not my real name and are requiring me to submit government ID proving that Msgr. Charles Pope is my true identity. As of now, I have no intention of doing this since I consider it an unreasonable demand by them. They further indicate that even if I supply the IDs from at least two sources, that they reserve the right not to reactivate my account if the name I have used does not meet their preferences. [EXPLETIVE – mine -DELETED!]
They explain the reason for their action as:
We ask everyone on Facebook to use the name they go by in everyday life so friends know who they’re connecting with [jerks]
But of course this IS the name that I go by “in everyday life.” Further, I have had a Facebook account under the name of “Msgr. Charles Pope” for over 6 years now. This is my name, this is who I am. I have 5,000 friends on Facebook who know me by this.
Facebook of course is a private company and they can do whatever they want and treat their clients and users in whatever foul ways they wish. But my current stance on this matter is to resist their demand and seek to share my dissatisfaction.
Facebook was once an open forum to discuss and share. It has become increasingly autocratic and ideological. It may be time for many of us to encourage them to reform or to simply leave Facebook. [Do you use Facebook for your usual online contacts? Reconsider.]
I respect that some of you may differ with my assessment of things, but I did want to explain my sudden absence from Facebook and I request your help in spread this information with others you think might wonder as to my disappearance from that forum.
My Twitter Feed is @MsgrPope
Rev. Msgr Charles Pope
Holy Comforter – St Cyprian Parish
First, knowing that I’ll probably draw their fire now – ask St. Gabriel the Archangel to afflict Facebook. Ask St. Isidore of Seville, or other saints to whom you regularly raise requests for intecession, to bring about a conversion to common sense of those who run Facebook.
Thirdly, consider another networking option for the Day When They Start Arresting Us: Ham Radio
And here is a video from Fox News which picked up the story about Msgr. Pope.
I also joined AWESTRUCK – a Catholic alternative to Facebook. HERE
UPDATE 22 August:
From a reader…
I saw Msgr. Pope at an anti-Planned Parenthood protest this morning. He says he is reinstated on Facebook but he did have to drop “Msgr.” from his name. He put it in the banner.