National News

University Says Facebook Rejected Ad Because It Shows Jesus on the Cross

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (CNS) – The Franciscan University of Steubenville said March 30 in a blog post that an administrator of its Facebook page noticed one of its ads had been rejected because it contained “shocking content, sensational content, excessively violent content.”

The Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, said this ad for its Facebook page featuring the San Damiano Cross was rejected by Facebook because the image of the Crucifixion had “excessively violent content.” (Photo: Catholic News Service/University of Steubenville)

“What was the offending image?” the blog post asked. “The San Damiano Cross. Jesus in glory, reigning from his cruciform throne. This is what the monitors at Facebook consider excessively violent, sensational and shocking.”

The blog post at includes a screen capture of the message of rejection from Facebook: “Your image, video thumbnail or video can’t contain shocking, sensational, or excessively violent content.”

The university said the San Damiano Cross image was one in a series of ads it posted to Facebook March 29 to promote two of the school’s online master’s degree programs in theology and in catechetics and evangelization.

The San Damiano Cross is the large Romanesque rood cross that St. Francis of Assisi was praying before when he is said to have received the commission from the Lord to rebuild the Catholic Church. The original hangs in Assisi, Italy.

Editor’s Note: After media attention, the university’s ad has since been reinstated online. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in Congress April 11 about his company’s community standards.