A Catholic Purge? Facebook Removes Big Catholic Facebook Pages Worldwide

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UPDATE 7/19/2017 5:41pm easter: Facebook Rep. Apologizes to Brazilian Bishops Conference About Page Bans

UPDATE 7/19/2017 11:20am eastern: Facebook Gives Official Explanation for Page Removals. But Does It Make Sense?

UPDATE 7/19/2017 12:23 am eastern: All Banned Catholic Facebook Restored by Facebook Across Languges

In the last day or so, Facebook has removed a large number of very popular Catholic Facebook pages worldwide, without explanation.

Pages that ChurchPOP has confirmed from their owners to have been removed by Facebook include:

  • Father Rocky – 3.5 million Likes
  • Papa Francisco Brasil – 3.8 million Likes
  • Catholic and Proud – 6 million Likes
  • Jesus and Mary – 1.7 million Likes
  • Holy Mary Mother of God – 200k Likes

UPDATE: “Extremely Heartbreaking”: Owners of Banned Catholic Pages Speak Out

There is also this list of 21 affected Catholic pages being shared around Facebook:

Carlos Renê, owner of the large Papa Francisco Brasil page, tells ChurchPOP that he and his partner Aleteia are “mobilizing lawyers and trying contacts within Facebook.”

Our sister Portuguese-language Catholic news agency, ACI Digital, has additional reporting about the situation for Portuguese-language Facebook pages you can read here.

Facebook has so far given no explanation for the page removals. Last year, Facebook was criticized for allegedly suppressing news deemed “conservative,” though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg denied the claim and met personally with conservative leaders to assure them of Facebook’s neutrality.

[See also: Catholic Priest Suspended from Facebook for Post About History of Islam]

[See also: Facebook CEO Reveals He’s No Longer an Atheist, Thinks Religion Is “Very Important”]