Etsy refuses to sell consecrated hosts

Selling consecrated hosts violates Etsy’s policies, a representative from the e-commerce website confirms.

The representative was responding to a petition asking for Etsy’s clarification on the matter, after a 7 May posting claimed to be selling “Real Catholic Hosts, consecrated by a priest.”

The package of nine hosts said to have been consecrated in Germany were marketed “to abuse for classic black fairs or black magic purposes.”

Etsy claims to sell one of a kind items for every day moments, handcrafted, vintage, custom or unique goods.

The listing soon drew attention on Twitter, with critics saying it violated Etsy’s policies. These only allow items that are handmade, vintage, or craft supplies to be sold on the Etsy site.

On 13 May, a petition called on Etsy to clarify that the sale of consecrated hosts is a violation of the platform’s policies.

“Catholics believe that Consecrated Hosts are truly the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is the most precious thing in our religion,” the petition said.

“It is given freely, and so the only reason anyone could ever have to sell it would by definition be illicit. To sell them ‘for abuse’ is hateful against the Catholic Church and should be prohibited by Etsy.”

The 7,500-signature petition recognised that Etsy does not screen individual listings but said that, “to prevent this happening again, we ask that Etsy add ‘Consecrated Hosts’ to their already strict list of prohibited items.”

Explicitly prohibited wares include stolen items and items that “support or glorify hatred toward people or otherwise demean people based upon: race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, or sexual orientation.”

A few days after the hosts were listed, the advertisement was marked as “Sold Out.” It was subsequently deleted.

Etsy removed the “sold out” listing promptly upon being notified of it.

An Etsy representative reiterated Etsy’s commitment to creating a welcoming environment, including for religious users and noted that listings are not pre-approved before appearing on the site.

“We rely on each seller to ensure the items they list adhere to our policies, and our specialised teams take action when we see items that violate these policies,” she said.

“We strongly encourage anyone who sees an item that violates our policies to submit a flag by clicking the ‘Report this item to Etsy’ link at the bottom of the listing.”


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