Tuesday, 7 February 2012

How long before we have this?

Of course, we have it already, there are dozens of chalices for sale on Ebay, some Catholic and consecrated and others not.

It is regrettable but inevitable. What is not inevitable is that a Catholic should offer a sacred or blessed item for sale.

Holding the sale in an upmarket auction room in Gloucestershire as opposed to  Ebay or, for that matter, at a car boot sale, does not make any difference - the fact is that to do such a thing is a most grave and serious sin. Simony.

Simony is usually defined "a deliberate intention of buying or selling for a temporal price such things as are spiritual of annexed unto spirituals". While this definition only speaks of purchase and sale, any exchange of spiritual for temporal things is simoniacal. Nor is the giving of the temporal as the price of the spiritual required for the existence of simony; according to a proposition condemned by Innocent XI (Denzinger-Bannwart, no. 1195) it suffices that the determining motive of the action of one party be the obtaining of compensation from the other.


  1. Some time ago a lay man I worked with on a special project began to buy relics off ebay. We both understood that the sale of such things was sinful but we thought it necessary - he had the money not me(!) - to get them off in case they went into the "wrong hands". When we questioned one of the sellers, the answer was, "it is not the relic that is for sale but the container - the reliquary". My friend found himself bidding against someone else and the bids kept getting higher. We eventually discovered that the other bidder was a priest who had the same motive. All the relics looked genuine. Some of them obviously came from convents though some had fallen into private hands. In the end we had quite a collection. At that time it became clear to me that some of my fellow clergy could not have cared less!

  2. How could these sacred vessels fall into private hands? I'm referring about the Catholic and consecrated ones...

    I can't imagine laity just walking off with these chalices

    ...unless they were stolen!