I’m a ‘Public Figure’ on Facebook Now. Oh Boy.

(Update: I have now been restored to full brotherly status by Facebook, as can be seen here. I am grateful that the individual I communicated with at FB accepted my documentary proof.)

Since I was “outed” on their social media megasite as a person who is actually (i.e., legally) named “Louis Paul Villarrubia,” the shadowy overlords at Facebook thought my use of “Brother André Marie,” which has been going on undisturbed since 2008, just had to stop. This is after I furnished proof from my U.S. Passport that “Brother Andre Marie” is a legal name under which I am also known.

I won’t take it personally. Catholic priests are not allowed to be “Father” on Facebook.

In order to have a Facebook presence that is unadulteratedly Brother André Marie, I set up a “Public Figure” page: Brother André Marie, M.I.C.M., (which you are hereby invited to like). But because of the way Facebook works, I had to keep my old profile page under my legal name, with my religious name in parenthesis under it: Louis Paul Villarrubia.

So now, you can be Louis’ “friend” and you can “like” Brother André Marie. And both of me will appreciate it.

While presenting my case to Facebook, I explained to the anonymous individual with whom I dealt that Mother Teresa of Calcutta (certainly a well known figure) was born and baptized Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, but she was and is known as Mother Teresa. “Would you really deny her that name if she had wanted a FB account?” I asked. I got no reply, at least not so far.

I considered dropping Facebook altogether, as it would save me time and bother. However, the thing has been useful to the apostolate. And, in spite of my apparent narcissism for just declaring myself a “public figure,” it really isn’t about me — it’s about the apostolate.


Oh no! Is that me?