Saint Isidore Catholic Sales Guild

A Catholic Consortium for Ethics in Internet Sales

The Saint Isidore Catholic Sales Guild was convened at the start of 2005 in response to the need for greater ethical standards in the arena of  internet sales of Catholic artifacts and objects, particularly those which may have been dedicated to use in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Members of the Guild are under no legal obligation to adhere to these guidelines. Membership implies general acceptance of the precepts presented below.

The Guild membership recognizes that as purveyors of Catholic devotional artifacts, the manner in which  we conduct our business has the potential to reflect upon the Catholic Church as a whole.  In accepting our responsibility as Catholic internet business owners, we will strive to serve as witnesses to our Catholic Faith by pursuing, to the best of our ability, the guidelines outlined below:

Acquisition of Goods

Artifacts of the Catholic Faith will be obtained honestly.

Particular attention will be  given to transactions involving the liquidation of material goods from religious institutions and appropriate remuneration will be given unless the articles are freely donated to the merchant.

Due diligence will be undertaken to ensure that goods are not offered illicitly.

Sale of Artifacts

Descriptions of articles for sale will be honest, with flaws duly noted.

Provenance will be provided only with permission of individuals or religious  institutions, or when such disclosure does not in any way violate the privacy or dignity of the previous owners.

Due diligence will be undertaken to ensure that important artifacts are not sold to individuals who would put them to profane use.

Each member is encouraged to determine their own individual policy pertaining to the need or desire for sacred objects to remain within the Faith of origin.

Particular diligence will be given to the sale of vestments, tabernacles, and altar furnishings.

Guild members will be familiar with pertinent Canon Law:

Canon 1171 – Sacred things which are destined for divine worship through dedication or a blessing are to be treated with reverence and not to be employed for improper or profane use even if they are under the control of private individuals.

Canon 1376 – One who profanes a movable or immovable sacred thing is to be punished with a just penalty

Prohibited Sales

The Holy Eucharist. The Guild condemns any sale, in any form, of the Precious Body and Blood. Members will exercise utmost care to ensure that any artifacts which may have contained particles of the Holy Eucharist or drops of the Precious Blood will be presented to a Priest or authorized minister of the Church for proper cleaning or disposal as outlined elsewhere in this document.

Relics – Guild members will become familiar with the classifications of relics and agree not to engage in the sale of First Class relics.

First Class Relics are defined as the bodily remains of the Saints. Under this classification are also relics of the instruments of the Passion including relics of the True Cross.

Thecas and Reliquaries. Guild members agree not to sell any thecas or reliquaries that contain actual first class relics.

The sale of empty reliquaries and thecas which have been thoroughly inspected for remains is permitted.
Blessings. The sale of blessings or the promise of prayer on behalf of another is strictly forbidden as the sin of simony. This includes the sale of Papal Blessings which are intended for the purchaser or that person’s designee. Guild members agree to refrain from such endeavors. This does not include the sale of vintage blessings which are viewed as artifacts and examples of Catholic art.

Older objects that have been blessed for the original owner lose that blessing upon sale. Guild members agree to inform customers that any objects they wish to have blessed should be presented to a Priest for the appropriate ritual.

Sick Call Sets and Pyxes. Guild members agree to carefully inspect the contents of all sick call sets and pyxes for any traces of the Precious Body or Blood that may remain.  Used pyxes should be presented to a Priest or Extraordinary Minister for proper cleansing. Linens, brushes, patens, spoons, cotton and other items that have been used for the ministry to the sick and dying should also be carefully inspected and if necessary, presented to a Priest for proper cleansing or disposal.

Vestments, Altar Linens, Tabernacles, Chalices, Patens and All Altar Furnishings. Guild members agree to exercise extreme caution in all exchanges relating to objects used for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Sales of such items must be closely screened to determine the identity and intent of potential buyers to ensure that items are not put to profane use.

Additional Recommendations

Missals, prayer books and Bibles should be carefully inspected to remove any blessed objects that are of no value and which may have deteriorated and hence be disposed of improperly – e.g., blessed palm, blessed flowers, etc. that are in a state of decay.

Lots of religious goods should be carefully inspected for the presence of relics, blessed palms or traces of the Eucharist.

Unusable artifacts including, but not limited to, palms, holy cards, vestments, etc., should be presented to a Priest for appropriate disposal. Guild members are encouraged to keep in a secure location an appropriate receptacle for the collection of such items.

All sacred artifacts should be handled and stored with the utmost reverence.

Membership    Membership is by application and may be revoked for serious offenses.

General Seller members are permitted to use the general guild seal. Supporting members will be issued a Supporting Member seal with a link to their section on this website. Non-selling members may use the Friend of Saint Isidore Guild Seal.

Members are encouraged to publicize the Saint Isidore Guild but may not act as spokespersons without authorization of the board.

Supporting members may access the list of undesirable buyers and blocked bidders and buyers with multiple identities but may not make any public mention of the identities of these individuals on any website or in any form of the press or other media.

All Saint Isidore Catholic Sales Guild members are encouraged to display the seal of the Guild appropriate to their level of membership and to provide an explanation of the purpose the Guild through display of the mission statement or an embedded link to this site. 

Please note eBay does not permit you to place live links anywhere but on your About Me page.

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Christine Hirschfeld

I never intended to run a Catholic antiquities and book business. Not in a million years. As a cradle Catholic, I grew up in a house that was filled with Catholic images and sacramentals not to mention an abundance of excellent books provided by family members who worked in publishing houses famous for their Catholic catalogues. The beautiful images and concepts presented in those books certainly had their effect in enhancing my identity as a Catholic. As the years passed, even in the midst of very un-Catholic settings, I became a repository for my friends’ Catholic “found objects.” Eventually, I had a family of my own. We’re a small family. There are just three of us. And two of us were born with the “junk collecting gene.” Garage sales attracted us like a magnet.

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