Eucharist pulled from eBay sale

The controversial sale of a Eucharistic host allegedly consecrated by Pope John Paul II on the on-line auction site eBay has reportedly fallen through.

Catholic News Agency says the incident was the focus of an email campaign by Catholics wanting eBay to change its policy on such sales.

According to Fr Roger J. Augustine of the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, the seller pulled the alleged Eucharist last week.

The priest said that he disposed of the Eucharist according to Church dictates.

Last week, a bidder from California bought the host for $A2602 from the site. The man, described as a devout Catholic, said that he bought the host to keep it out of harmful hands.

A statement from the Diocese of Sioux City said that, "The issue of the attempted sale of the Eucharist has attracted both national and international attention with e-mails and fax messages coming into the diocesan office from countless communities."

"Although this specific issue has been resolved," it said, "the diocese still has differences with eBay and its policy governing the listing of items that are offensive to people of faith. eBay officials contend they see nothing offensive with the sale of such items on their website. Many Catholic organizations and individuals have taken issue with that policy and apparently are making their opinions known to eBay officials."

Fr Augustine met with the seller on Friday and was "most grateful that [he] agreed that it was in everyone's best interest to bring this issue to a positive conclusion."

Officials with eBay said earlier that they see nothing offensive with the sale of such items on their site.

Hani Durzy of eBay said the company reviewed the sale of the Eucharist but it was determined the sale did not violate company policies.

Eucharist pulled from E-bay sale (Catholic News Agency 18/4/05)
Communion wafer is pulled from eBay (Associated Press/Quad-Cities Times 16/4/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Diocese of Sioux City | Diocese reports resolution of eucharist E-bay issue - Consecrated host returned to church (15/4/05)

eBay Consecrated Communion Host Returned to Church by Seller - eBay Refuses Policy Change (Lifesite 18/4/05)
eBay pulls 'Virgin Mary sandwich' (Associated Press/CNN 16/11/04)
Iowan sells host on eBay (Catholic News Service/BC Catholic 18/4/05)
Catholic Author Calls for Boycott After eBay Approves Sale of Consecrated Hosts (US Newswire 14/4/05)

19 Apr 2005