And not just because Jesus has his own page. An Italian priest writing in the Vatican-approved Jesuit journal, La Civilta’ Cattolica, says that “Basically, Facebook incarnates a utopia: that of always staying close to those people we care about in one way or another and of getting to know others who are compatible with us.” But Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro also warned of the “utopian” lure of Facebook, where he himself and a growing number of other clergy and religious have pages.
As this report from Catholic News Service puts it:
The point of Facebook is to share your life, he said, but there is a temptation to construct an identity to make the user seem “more acceptable, pleasant, even desirable, including sexually.”
In addition, psychologically people could have a difficult time declining a request to become “friends” on Facebook and, with a counter on a person’s profile page keeping track of the number of his or her friends, some may be tempted simply to collect friends.
But as Fr. Spadaro notes, there are friends and then there are friends. When Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe of Naples started a Facebook page, the number of people asking to “friend” him quickly reached Facebook’s maximum of 5,000 friends. Yet when as CNS notes, when Cardinal Sepe invited his Facebook friends to a special, in-person meeting just before Christmas, only 100 showed up.
NOTE: You can check out Cardinal Sepe and some of his friends here.