After reading the story I wondered how those selling these holy relics got a hold of them in the first place
99 % of what is being sold is fake. I do have a second class relic and wouldn’t sell it for the world.
I certainly hope not because the Church forbids the sale of relics (and it does not differentiate the class of relic).
Can. 1190 §1 It is absolutely wrong to sell sacred relics.
One thing that IS permitted to sell is the reliquary itself. The craftsman is entitled to be paid, and compensation for the expenses of the acquisition and historical value of the reliquary can be asked for by the owner.
I did acquire a first class relic from another diocese. They legitimately asked for compensation for the value of the reliquary when I received permission to obtain the relic itself.
The legalistic way I’ve seen most auctions get around this is by saying they’re auctioning off their time and the care they’ve put into holding the relic, or something along those lines. I had one priest tell me this was okay, another who told me it was wrong.
I expect that a lot of those relics are fake - for example, how many relics of the holy cross can there be? Some of the relics are just third class - touched to the tomb of - kind of relics. In some cases, a person who isn’t very religious could have inherited the relics from someone who was devout and had some relics.
You are correct, of course, but I’ve yet to see a price comparison of two identical reliquaries with one empty and the other containing a relic.