Saturday, April 23, 2005

Consecrated Hosts no longer for Sale on eBay

by Steve Ray on April 23, 2005

eBay Pulls Sale of Consecrated Communion Host After 9,000 Complaints Received

SAN JOSE, California, April 20, 2005 ( – eBay confirmed to today that the company voluntarily cancelled a listing for a consecrated Host.

It was not clear at the time of this publishing that the company policy had changed to ban all similar sales. A customer representative named Joshua, when asked why he thought eBay pulled the listing, told that “it could have been the eight or nine thousand complaints we received.”

The cancellation is no doubt the result of backlash from faithful Catholics – outraged at the offence this had caused – but is likely also in part due to a letter from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, as reported by the Catholic News Agency Tuesday.

In the letter addressed to eBay president Meg Whitman, Archbishop Chaput said, “the sale of a consecrated communion host by anyone, under any circumstance, is a very serious sacrilege for Catholics and therefore an equally serious insult to the Catholic community.”

Following the controversy that erupted last week over the listing of a communion Host consecrated at a papal Mass, eBay listed another, described as “Holy Communion wafer blessed by Pope John Paul II.” Desecration of the original Sacred Host was avoided, after Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, administrator Monsignor Roger J. Augustine met with the seller Friday and was advised that the sale would not be consummated.  

The seller’s listing, which advertised a package of Catholic ‘collectibles,’ was offered with the condescending caveat, “First of all, I am not catholic and do not believe i’m (sic) going to hell for selling this collectible.”

Archbishop Chaput responded, saying, “Whether the seller is Catholic or not is irrelevant. Catholics believe that the consecrated Communion host is literally the body and blood of Jesus Christ; it is the center of our worship life . . . this sort of sale is extraordinarily offensive.” contacted eBay today, after reading “This listing [consecrated Communion Host] has been removed by eBay or is no longer available,” at the original posting’s url.

Contact eBay Customer Support:…“>…


Ratzinger a Nazi?

by Steve Ray on April 23, 2005

Ratzinger under pressure

The on-line German news-magazine Der Spiegel aims some well-deserved contempt at the contention of the British tabloids that the young Ratzinger was a Nazi, and included this moving testimonial about his service as a 16-year-old conscript:

“What you find in the British press is complete rubbish”, says Munich resident Walter Fried, 78. In 1943, he served together with Ratzinger in the same anti-aircraft battery at Obergrashof near Munich. His memories of the current Pope are rather dim, because the boy from Traunstein was a “very reserved, fairly inconspicuous figure.” But one occurrence Fried still remembers exactly: One time a high-ranking officer conducted an inspection. One after the other each lad had to say what he wished to become. Many mentioned becoming pilots as career aspirations, and after an answer of that sort there were no further questions asked. “When it came to Ratzinger’s turn, he said that he would like to become a parish priest. That caused great laughter. But at the time, of course, to give such an answer took courage.”

Hemingway defined guts as “grace under pressure.” There are occasions when truth under pressure requires considerably more from a man. Even the ordinary force of social pressures on teenage boys in undramatic everyday circumstances are enough to cause them to dissemble or keep silent about their faith. The young Ratzinger, in his own quiet way, was bearing witness to Christ by confessing his desire to serve him as a priest. He does not mention this incident in his autobiography, and perhaps did not remember it himself — but it made enough of an impression to be remembered by another man more than 60 years after the event. In this respect Ratzinger is a kind of John Kerry-in-reverse, understating rathering than exaggerating his pluck. Thereupon his forgotten comrades, far from shredding his accounts of personal heroism, testify to the guts that didn’t feel the need for self-advertisement.