I was just made aware of this while listening to EWTN radio.
According to The Crossroads Initiative website (a ministry of Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio, aka "Dr. Italy"), a Eucharistic host, consecrated by John Paul II, was sold on Ebay for $2,000 on April 11th, 2005. This is a grave offense against the Catholic faith, although not the first time this has happened. (The Body of Christ was first sold for 30 pieces of silver by Judas Iscariot.)
When asked to ban further sales of consecrated hosts, eBay claimed:
Due to the fact that eBay’s focus is to have a free and diverse community, we are reluctant to interfere with listings that are not illegal. Regarding offensive items, there are many items that are considered sacred to many people of various religions, and we sometimes hear complaints about these items. Examples would be Catholic relics of saints, Mormon (LDS) garments, certain Buddhist tablets, etc. However, eBay has made the decision not to prohibit any item only on the basis of the item being endowed with sacred properties by certain religious groups. In general, eBay will remove items for a violation of our Offensive Materials policy only in extreme examples in which the listing explicitly promotes hatred, violence, or racial intolerance. However, we do not remove religious items that are otherwise legal for sale and do not violate any other eBay listing policy.
Apparently, the seller of the item had already received many emails requesting the item be removed from the site. His response was the following:
I am not Catholic and do not believe Im going to hell for selling this collectable (sic!).
Since he is not Catholic, yet in possession of the Eucharist (which he deems a collectible, as if this is something that should be on a knick-knack shelf!), the item can be considered to have been stolen using fraudulent methods. Even though selling stolen items is against eBay’s listing policy (it is not legal for sale), they still have no plans to ban the seller or list consecrated hosts as banned items.
Due to the auction of Christ’s body that took place over a week ago, item #6169851381 can no longer be found on the eBay website. (This should not be confused with item #6167701834 which is not consecrated.) It was not removed due to time constraints, but rather, it seems, as an attempt to hide guilt. When doing a search for the item, the following info comes up:
This listing (6169851381) has been removed by eBay or is no longer available. Please make sure that you’ve entered the item number correctly.
If the item was removed by eBay, please consider this transaction canceled. If anybody contacts you to complete the sale, please ignore the request. Completing the sale outside of eBay may be unsafe and will not be covered by eBay purchase protection programs.
Items that ended more than 90 days ago are no longer accessible through the eBay system.
Note that items from 90 days ago (not merely a week ago) are automatically removed. This was manually removed from the site, in a deliberate attempt to hide what was done.
Due to the obvious contempt for the beliefs of the diverse faiths eBay claims to embrace or tolerate (read: ignore), I urge you to join the eBay boycott, which includes the eBay subsidiary website half.com. Also to e-mail E-Bay personally, CLICK HERE – firstname.lastname@example.org