Vatican warns against relics sales on eBay
The Vatican’s top official for issues dealing with saints, Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, has denounced the sale of saints’ relics on eBay. Unauthorised sales of relics are forbidden by the Catholic Church, he told the Italian daily La Stampa, and the objects could be used by satanic sects.
The Milan daily reported that the Internet auction site was offering a reliquary of St. Vincent de Paul for 1,600 euros ($2,380), a “special offer” of bone fragments of six saints going for 430 euros ($625) and a lock of hair from St. Thérèse of Lisieux for 30 euros ($44). Shreds of cloaks belonging to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Rita of Cascia are up for auction, it said.
Saraiva Martins told La Stampa:
“It is absolutely wrong to sell sacred relics.
“Without a written certificate, a relic is considered false as I consider most of those sold on the Internet.
“If used improperly, they could favour superstition, or satanic sects could buy them to destroy them or change their significance in blasphemous ceremonies.”
La Stampa said eBay has a task force of experts to block the trade but “it only takes a click to have the relics kit sent to you.”
P.S.: I have a confession to make: An eBay newbie, I couldn’t find any of them, neither on the U.S. nor the Italian site. Did you have any better luck?