Does one have legal ownership of a sacramental?

I purchase a rosary.
I have it blessed by a priest.
I have possession of said rosary.
By Canon Law, do I have legal ownership of said rosary?

For example (this may raise another issue or two):
Suppose I place the rosary in a casket containing a deceased Catholic (who died in a state of grace) at the funeral ‘showing’ with the intention that the rosary will be buried with the deceased,
Now another person removes that rosary from the casket during the ‘showing’.
When accused of stealing, that person maintains that no one “owns” a sacramental and so that person is not guilty of theft.

Example two: a person simply removes said rosary from my posession and maintains that they are not guilty of theft because no one legally “owns” a sacramental.

I would say most sacramentals can be said to be owned by …well their owner (me-- I own as a Christian the blessed medal I am wearing)

First and Second Class relics are looked at differently.

If some person (other than say my wife) takes my medal…they are engaging in theft.

That would be grave robbery; robbing graves is illegal and immoral.

It seems as if whoever took the rosary is trying to justify his actions by mixing civil and spiritual principles.

It is true that sacramentals are not to be bought or sold. But I have never heard that sacramental can not be owned. Ownership of an object is a civil matter. I am not sure what the legal rules are about who or what has ownership of objects intended for burial with a deceased person but from a civil perspective it won’t matter whether they are sacramentals or not.

Don’t you really mean that blessings aren’t to be bought or sold? If it were true that “sacramentals are not to be bought or sold,” then no one could buy a rosary, medal, holy picture, cross on a chain, crucifix for the home, or anything else.

I guess you are correct. I tend not to think of rosaries, medals, crucifixes, and the like as sacramentals until such time as they are blessed and would not think of such an object as a sacramental if it were to loose the blessing.

“If you sell a sacred thing which was blessed with a constitutive blessing, it loses its blessing and must be reblessed or reconsecrated. If I were to sell my, for example, chalice which was consecrated by the late Card. Mayer, the purchaser would have to have it reconsecrated. The same would go for a rosary. However, there is no question of “reblessing” something like relics of Sts. Nunilo and Alodia rescued from Ebay or a flee market: relics are sacred in themselves. The reliquary, however, would be duly reblessed.”

“If an item is sold by one individual to another for only the price of the material itself, that is, if no profit is made, the blessing remains. For example, if you were to give someone a blessed rosary or sell it to him at cost, he would not have to have it re-blessed. If you were to sell a blessed rosary to someone for profit, he would need to take it to a priest to be blessed.”

"The Sacraments give grace of themselves and are always fruitful when the faithful place no spiritual obstacles in the way; the sacramentals excite pious dispositions, by means of which the faithful may obtain grace. It is not the sacramental itself that gives grace, but the devotion, love of God, or sorrow for sin that it inspires, and the prayers of the Church that render sacramentals efficacious against evil.

Although the Catholic Church restricts the reception of the Sacraments by non-Catholics, this is not true of the sacramentals. The pious use of sacramentals by non-Catholics is permitted and even encouraged. As blessed objects or rituals that represent sacred beliefs and persons, disrespect to sacramentals is considered a form of sacrilege.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that sacramentals “do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it.”

I interpret this to mean that if a person takes, without permission, a roasary that has been blessed by a priest, from another person then that person is guilty of sacrilege for disrespecting the sacramental object.

SMHW, I love your quote from Hilda Hudson!

Blessed sacramentals such as rosaries are the property of their owner, who has right of ownership. But having ownership, according to the Church, does not mean that the object can be disrespected or used for a profane purpose just because it’s your private property. That’s all. That’s what Church law says. Sorry, I don’t have a reference, but I read this recently.

I :heart::heart: mathematics!

You are the owner of anything you have legally purchased.
Anyone who takes it is a thief and from your example is simply trying to justify the theft having been caught!

Thank you Leon Bloy. Your information is good.

There are specific procedures for properly disposing of ‘broken’ sacramentals (such as by burning or burial). We must take great care to keep blessed sacramental objects out the hands of satan worshipers and the like who would profane them.

Regarding the losing of blessing by selling a sacramental for profit; I once purchased a bottle of Lourdes water from a respectable on-line Catholic store for a dying friend. The so-called ‘Lourdes loophole’ was in effect–I was paying for the bottle which happened to contain water from Lourdes. But since Lourdes water obtains its power directly from heaven, and not the blessing of a priest, I am not certain the water would lose it’s power even if it were sold directly for a profit.

SMHW–I love mathematics also! And Physics! And Southern California! I once worked at TRW (‘trojan rubber works’ O.O in Redondo Beach). We often spoke the ‘aerospace creed’,–“Close enough for government work.” but in fact we worked hard to improve the accuracy of ICBMs. If I told you how accurate they are, I’d have to kill you (-: but let me say, be afraid–be very afraid.

I live in Texas now but sometimes retreat to Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside where Thomas Merton’s “far drums of Christ” might easily be misheard in the 500 lb bombs tested at adjacent Marine Camp Pendleton!

Thank you Thistle for your definitive reply. Praise the Lord for Forum Elders.

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