NewsTue May 3, 2005 - 12:14 pm EST
eBay Relents on Eucharist Policy in Response to Massive Protests
CYBERSPACE, May 3, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Online auctioneer, eBay, has finally changed its policy in the face of massive complaints about the sale of consecrated hosts. 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.
In an email, forwarded to LifeSiteNews.com, to eBay spokesman Edmund Leong said that the company had consulted with Catholic members and representatives of other religions and has decided to include the Eucharist as one of its off-limits items. A staffer writing on behalf of Bill Cobb of eBay’s Community Watch Team writes in his email, “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.”
The company already prohibited the sale of prayer sticks that are considered sacred by some native Americans and other items that might give offense such as memorabilia connected with the 9-11 World Trade Center disaster. But the furor among Catholics over the sale of the Eucharist was something they apparently had not expected. Until yesterday, however, eBay continued to claim that they were not being offensive by allowing the Eucharist to be sold on their site. Citing ‘diversity,’ the company continued to insist that there would be no change in policy.
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.
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