Clergy-focused Facebook scam
This morning, in the space of a few minutes, I received friend requests on Facebook from two priests of my acquaintance. Except, I was already friends with both of them on Facebook, so… what was going on?
What was going on is a scam that seems to be growing more and more widespread, and seems (at least in my experience) to be specifically focused on clergy. The way it works seems to be this: someone copies the profile picture from the priest’s FB account, then sets up a new FB profile using that same picture (which is usually looking quite a bit worse for wear from the digital cutting and pasting). Then, they begin to send friend requests to the existing friends of the real profile. Many persons (and I fell for it myself the first time it happened) will likely say, “Oh, I thoughts I was already friends with Fr. on Facebook… Oh, well, something must have happened.” And click, they add this impostor to their online circle of trust.
But to what end? Here comes the fun part: once the impostor profile has a number of the priest’s friends available, they will start to send messages to them, often with some sort of urgent situation, and soliciting funds. An elaborate scam (I can’t believe how tedious this was to type out so far), but that seems to be the game. So watch out, pay attention to who you are friending, and always think twice before responding to unusual requests via Facebook (or any other medium for that matter).
When canonists dream
What do canonists dream about, you may wonder? I can only speak for this canonist, but this morning I awoke from a tangled plot that hinged on the applicability of canon 1090 if the plotted conjugicide is not yet carried out. That is, if a conspiracy to murder one’s spouse predates the marriage, does such a malicious intent invalidate the marriage even before the spouse is murdered?
I think that canon 1090 cannot be said to apply in this particular circumstance, since the canon very specifically indicates that it is the subsequent marriage that is invalidated by the crime, that is, the marriage which the murder ostensibly freed one of the parties to enter. In light of canon 18, I think canon 1090 must be interpreted strictly, and so can in no way be extended by analogy in such a case.
That being said, I think that if such a plot were made known, and the first marriage ended in divorce before the spouse who was being plotted against was killed, a strong case for simulation of matrimonial consent, either total or against the good of the spouse, could be made. And now on to breakfast.
I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, parks his bicycle as he arrives for the fourth day of general congregation meetings in the synod hall at the Vatican on March 7. Chicago Tribune religion reporter Manya Brachear had a bit of fun with it by tweeting:
“I love that Lyon’s Cardinal rides bike to Vatican. I’d love it more if he traded briefcase for basket with baguette.”
(Photo by Paul Haring/ ©2013 Catholic News Service)
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor
This is just wonderful. I’m sure many will think this unbecoming of a prelate of such rank, but I say phooey to them.