So a friend of mine recently found a chotki (Eastern Christian prayer rope similar to the rosary) placed at the feet of a statue of Mary outside of his church. Being that he never had a chotki before, he took it.
He asked if it was considered stealing. Me being ignorant, I did not know how to answer him considering that we don’t know if it was simply left there for devotional purposes, whom it belonged to, what the intention was for leaving it at the feet of the Theotokos statue etc. I know that sometimes churches leave rosaries around for people to take, and I wasn’t sure if this was the case in this regard or not.
What are your thoughts on this?