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eBay Relents on Selling Hosts

by Christopher A. Ferrara

On May 3, 2005 LifeSiteNews.com reported that "Online auctioneer, eBay, has finally changed its policy in the face of massive complaints about the sale of consecrated hosts." These Hosts, consecrated at outdoor papal Masses, were made readily available to thieves by the abuse of Communion in the hand, which Pope Paul VI approved as an "exception" despite maintaining the law of the Church mandating Communion sub lingua (on the tongue).

EBay, in that great capitalist tradition, saw a profit and made the deal. But Catholics were not going to tolerate this sacrilege. Lifesite notes that "For weeks, the hugely successful eBay has been belittling and ignoring calls from Catholics, including bishops, to prohibit the sale of the holy Eucharist, the consecrated bread that Catholics believe is the actual Body and Blood of Jesus Christ and is described in Catholic theology as the ‘source and summit’ of Catholic spiritual life."

But weeks of massive protest wore down eBay’s management, which finally announced by email that "We have concluded that sales of the Eucharist, and similar highly sacred items, are not appropriate on eBay. We have, therefore, broadened our policies and will remove those types of listings should they appear on the site in the future."

Lifesite further reported that "The first host offered for sale in early April was eventually handed over to officials of the diocese of Sioux City, Iowa for proper handling after the seller personally relented. At that time eBay continued to insist that they ‘respected’ Catholics who were offended but refused to consider banning the Eucharist for sale on the site.

When a second host was offered, eBay admitted to LifeSiteNews.com that they had received more than 9000 complaints, though their correspondence with angry members had referred to it as a ‘handful.’ After Catholics organized a boycott, eBay decided to review its policy."

It’s all well and good that eBay relented in response to Catholic complaints and changed its "policy" allowing the sale of consecrated Hosts. But now it is time for another institution to consider a change of policy.

That is, the Vatican should consider changing its policy of allowing Communion in the hand, which is the very reason consecrated Hosts were purloined and made available for sale on eBay in the first place  —  to mention the sale of consecrated Hosts in Italy for the use of Satanists, which this column has already reported.

If a business company can recognize that sacrilege is bad for business, what is keeping the Vatican from recognizing that sacrilege is bad for religion  —  specifically, the Roman Catholic religion which the Vatican is supposed to be protecting and defending?

Let us hope the Vatican learns something from l’affaire eBay and takes action to end the worldwide abuse of the Blessed Sacrament unleashed by the foolish decision of Paul VI.