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Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle

Relics for sale on eBay

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 08/12/16

There’s a lot wrong with this. A lot.

Details from Catholic News Agency:

Ryan Scheel was shopping for a rosary on eBay when one listing caught him off guard. A first class relic of the bone of a saint, still in its wax-sealed reliquary, was listed for sale – to the tune of $3,600. “The listing was crass enough to even describe the relic as ‘ex ossibus,’ a Latin term meaning ‘from the bones,’” Scheel told CNA e-mail comments. He decided to further search the online auction site, and found “pages and pages” of other first class relics for sale, violating eBay’s own policy that prohibits the sale of human body parts, other than human scalp hair. Scheel, who is also the founder and editor of the Catholic resource site uCatholic, said he tried to use eBay’s “Report Item” feature in order to alert the site of the first class relics, but he said the closest option given from the available drop-down list states: “The item in this listing is an artifact, fossil, or relic taken from federal or state public land or Native American land or battlefield.” Catholic News Agency reached out to eBay for comment on this issue, but did not receive a response by press time. The listing of first class relics “is incredibly insensitive to the Catholic faith in way I doubt would be tolerated for other religions,” Scheel said. “But also…common decency should tell eBay that profiting off of the sale of body parts is ghastly and unethical, no matter who the remains belonged to in life.”

And there’s this:

Code of Canon Law 1190 states that it is “absolutely forbidden to sell sacred relics,” whether or not they are human remains.

Read it all.

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