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Priest Auctions Confessional on eBay as 'a Small Bar,' Archdiocese Not Amused

a confessionalThe Catholic Church has lately dived into the digital revolution with an uninhibited enthusiasm, exploring new ways to reach parishioners and potential converts alike. This may be attributable to Pope Benedict XVI, whose digital-ecumenical efforts have included championing the Internet as a way for Catholics to share their faith, establishing the Vatican's YouTube channel and even asking followers to text their concerns about recent scandals. But with the Church's headlong leap into tech, one can expect some missteps. For example: the Austrian priest who tried to sell a confessional on eBay for use as a "one-person sauna, a small bar or a children's playhouse."

The Vienna archdiocese was not amused. Spokesperson Erich Leitenberger told the Salzburger Nachrichten that the resale of "objects that were used for dispensing the sacraments is not acceptable." Otto Weber, the Hirschstetten-based priest who posted the auction on eBay, was just trying to raise money for renovating his church. But, to compound the blunders in Weber's good intentions, the archdiocese finally pulled the plug on the post when it reached 40 bids, at a total of 666.66 euros. eBay: The Devil's Marketplace. [From: AP, via: Gawker]

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