Fr. Tony Flannery took to Twitter on 7th of June 2011 and was happily tweeting away until the 13th of March 2012 when he more or less lost interest and the account lay dormant until quite recently.
Meanwhile, Fr. Tony was preoccupied with his persecution by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (or the Inquisition as it was formerly and rightly known).
Then, suddenly out of nowhere, the above imposter made his/her appearance pretending to be Fr. Tony. This turned out to be not a spoof account satirising or poking fun at Fr. Tony, but a real attempt to pretend to be him and in the process discredit him and give the impression that he had lost his marbles.
I have reproduced four of the imposter's sixteen tweets above to give an idea of the subtle way Fr. Tony was being undermined. The imposter gradually accumulated 12 followers, among which myself and the CofI Bishop of Cork (forgive me Bishop if I'm wrong). These followers believed they were following Fr. Tony. I certainly did. But I got a bit suspicious as it was clear that Fr. Tony either was losing it or there was something else going on here.
If you look at the tweets above (reading down from the top) you'll see an innocuous introduction (5 Feb) followed some days later (11 Feb) by an endorsement of Hans Kung for Pope, an evangelistic lauding of the theme of LOVE in capital letters, and a serious poke at the CDF. This is followed a month later (11 Apr) by an implication that Fr. Tony is thick in with the Freemasons, and finally a tweet (11 May) in which Fr. Tony outs himself as a political activist, a brother of Frank Flannery who is and was for many years prominent in Fine Gael, and threatens the Church authorities that if they excommunicate any of those in Fine Gael, he will go on hunger strike.
This refers to Church disapproval of the stance taken by Enda Kenny and Fine Gael in the abortion debate. The Government have decided that they are obliged to legislate for limited abortion following a Supreme Court constitutional decision a good while back. Various clerics have made threats of excommunication and Cardinal O'Malley of Boston has even refused to appear on the same platform as Enda Kenny whom he sees as "aggressively promoting abortion". There is also an implication, lurking in the background, that Fr. Tony may have had something to do with Enda's anti-Vatican speech in July of last year.
The threatened hunger strike must be the first between meals hunger strike in history.
Needless to say, when Fr. Tony became aware of this he was alarmed and appealed for help through the website of the Association of Catholic Priests, of which he is a founder member. He was immediately well advised by contributors to that site, following which he took up the matter with Twitter, who have now suspended the imposter's account.
I am pleased to see that Fr. Tony has now returned to tweeting about very serious matters, like the state of the Galway football team, and, if you want to follow him, his account is shown below.