'Cool' rosary beads taken off shelves
Retailer Dunnes Stores has taken rosary beads, which were being sold as a fashion accessory, off the shelves in Northern Ireland following complaints from Catholic customers.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that Dunnes Stores was selling rosary necklaces for $A16.48 in shops across the province but decided to remove them following a series of complaints.
A spokeswoman for the company explained: "A number of customers from Northern Ireland complained that we were selling the beads so we decided to remove them.
"They were being sold as a fashion trend with no religious connotation but we did not want to cause offence to anyone or upset anyone and took the decision to stop selling them."
Criticising the store for selling them in the first place, a spokesman for the Catholic Church said it was worrying that rosary beads were being viewed as a fashion item.
"If rosary beads are seen in this way, they could lose their sacredness," he said. "It shows a complete lack of understanding of what they symbolise. If these things are being worn purely as fashion accessories, it shows a lack of respect also."
In recent years a host of stars have donned the religious beads in the name of fashion.
Footballer David Beckham appeared on the front of magazine Vanity Fair wearing rosary beads and pop princess Britney Spears was snapped wearing all-white rosary beads during a trip to Dublin.
'Cool' rosary beads taken off shelves (Belfast Telegraph 18/1/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Rosary fashion prompts catechisis push in UK (CathNews 18/10/04)
20 Jan 2006