Should merchandise be sold in church?

An organization in our parish recently started selling gift certificates inside the church, where Mass is offered, directly before and after Mass. We have two side entrances and a basement where it could be sold but they want to sell it right next to the last pew as people enter and exit. (An example is, I buy a gift card for gas for $50 and when I use it to purchase gas 2 percent is given back to the parish. So the parish makes a profit of $1.) Do you feel that this is interfering with the reverance to God and may be somewhat inappropriate?

Such gift certificates, sometimes called script, are popular fundraisers for churches and are often sold on church property. However, the selling usually doesn’t take place inside the sanctuary. For example, at my parish, the script carts are kept outside on the patio where people can purchase script after leaving Mass.

I suggest talking to your pastor and asking him to move the script sellers out of the sanctuary. While the pastor has the authority to require this and should do so on the grounds that selling in the sanctuary is inappropriate, the script sellers might be more amenable to the move if Father offers to include an announcement to the congregation that script is for sale and where it may be purchased during the parish announcements often given after the post-Communion meditation and before the final prayers.

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