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  #1  
Old Jul 21, '08, 10:32 am
maryanna36 maryanna36 is offline
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Religion: catholic
Default Selling used religious articles

Here is my question: I have a shop in a flea market. Many times in buying articles for my shop through thrift shops, auctions, etc., I come across used Catholic religious articles such as rosaries, medals, scapulars, small statues and the like.

I often have bought these articles if I could afford them and placed them in my shop to sell. Some of the old and used articles may have been blessed in the past but I obviously don't know this for certain. Some of the newer things still in their packages, probably are not blessed.

One can also find religious article at online auction sites... I've even seen relics for sale though I have never tried to buy such things because I do believe it is wrong to buy or sell relics.

How should I consider these other old items? I am aware that the sale of these blessed religious articles could be considered simony.

If my sales are truly simony, what are my options with these used items. I thought perhaps if I sold them for a donation and then gave that donation to a church related cause, that would be appropriate. I really want to remove these articles from auctions, thrift shops, etc. and put them in the hands of people who truly want them.

I hope there will be a variety of responses to this question, because surely, I would want to do the right thing.
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  #2  
Old Jul 21, '08, 3:21 pm
kage_ar kage_ar is offline
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Religion: Catholic - Convert RCIA class of 1998
Default Re: Selling used religious articles

Simony would come into play if you sold these items as "blessed rosaries, medals, etc." You cannot sell a blessing.

You cannot sell a spiritual thing, you can sell a material object.

When you sell an item that was once blessed as just an object, you sell the object (medal, rosary, house, car, statue...). The purchaser may have the item blessed in the same manner they would a new object.

Your gut tells you the right thing, relics are items where the spiritual cannot be separated from the physical, that is the reason one cannot buy or sell a relic. Sometimes, the reliquory will be sold and the relic given as a gift.

From the CCC:

2121 Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things. To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!" Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: "You received without pay, give without pay." It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.
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  #3  
Old Jul 21, '08, 5:34 pm
maryanna36 maryanna36 is offline
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Join Date: July 8, 2008
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Default Re: Selling used religious articles

Quote:
Originally Posted by kage_ar View Post
Simony would come into play if you sold these items as "blessed rosaries, medals, etc." You cannot sell a blessing.

You cannot sell a spiritual thing, you can sell a material object.

When you sell an item that was once blessed as just an object, you sell the object (medal, rosary, house, car, statue...). The purchaser may have the item blessed in the same manner they would a new object.
Kage_ar, oh, NOW I understand! Thank you for showing me the distinction between selling something as a "blessed object" (which would be simony) vs the material object. I didn't know that... I have never sold these articles as being blessed.
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  #4  
Old Jul 21, '08, 5:41 pm
GailMac GailMac is offline
 
Join Date: May 27, 2008
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Default Re: Selling used religious articles

Interesting topic.

I'm a sucker for religious articles I find at yardsales and such. I don't understand why on earth folks sell them. I'm kinda attached to mine. I guess they are offered for various reasons, the person selling obviously isn't attached to them and they may even belong to someone else in the house, etc. It still bothers me. But being on a tight budget, some of the things I've come across in the years since joining the Church I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise.

I think it would be sinful for anyone, whether Catholic or anyone else to disrespect religious objects. Kage gave all the answers I think you need for your dilemma. If you still have questions take them to your priest.

Peace,

Gail
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