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First Class Saint Relics On Sale At Ebay

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St. Bartholomew, flayed alive as a martyr for the Church has his first class relics on sale on Ebay. Human remains are forbidden to be sold on Ebay, and the Catholic Church bans the sale of relics to the highest bidder but this hasn’t hampered the owner.

On eBay on Jan. 3, a would-be seller posted a wheat-colored envelope, fastened with a red wax seal, said to contain remains of the Apostle Bartholomew.

Another posting showed a beveled glass reliquary inset with pieces of five saints’ earthly matter.

The sale of what the Catholic Church terms first-class relics — bits of bone, hair and flesh — outrages Tom Serafin, a Catholic activist and the president of the International Crusade for Holy Relics, a Los Angeles-based organization that maintains a traveling exhibit of venerated articles.

It’s not the prices that get Serafin hopping mad. It’s the fact that pitches appear on the site for the remains of saints and objects of worship, such as Eucharist wafers used in holy communion.

Church law forbids the buying and selling of the items.

“Just as you would not go around selling portions of one of your beloved deceased for money, for the church, these (saints) are our family members,” said Father Mark Weisner, spokesman for the Oakland Diocese.

On Tuesday, Weisner, stunned to learn of the online sales, ran an eBay search for “holy relics.” Up popped a posting for an authenticated piece of the papal collar of Pope Leo XIII (a second-class relic).

If someone were to ask for my blessing, I wouldn’t say, ‘OK, that will be $10,'” said Father Michael Sweeney, president of the Dominican School for Philosophy and Theology. “It’s not to be treated as having profane value.”


Written by smalltalkwitht

January 29, 2008 at 12:26 am

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