|(Baltimore Sun photo by Kim…)|
It is legitimately feared that these objects will fall into the hands of those who have no respect for them. Especially since calls to the Diocese reveal that the staff has very little understanding of either the significance of sacred objects or their proper disposal and sale. We'll quote again the appropriate canon: [cf. Western Catholic Reporter]
The law of the Church (canon 1171) indicates that blessed objects and those used for worship should not be put to inappropriate use, even if privately owned. These objects should be transferred to the diocesan offices where they may be given to another parish or otherwise properly disposed of.In the seventies, there was a lot of church building and not so helpful renovation. Now, after years of abortion on demand and a birthrate barely above replacement, Catholic institutions are being closed down and sold off. Of course, the abuse-hoax doesn't help. Also, many churches were denuded of much of their sacral character in this time period, as a new vogue of trendy ritualistic minimalism and a spirit of experimentation and curiosity took over the scene.
It needs to be said that no other institution, religious or otherwise, has had to bear the legal burdens the Catholic Church has. Sex abuse scandals against public schools just don't get the attention, for obvious reasons. Apparently, even the large publicly owned school districts can become targets for such litigation.
Litigation aside, Catholic Diocese are selling their properties and along with them, the sacred objects. Unfortunately, these are not likely to be disposed of properly. They are likely to be sold to secular parties who likely as no are eager to use the objects for disrespectful, indeed, sacrilegious purposes.
This was the case in Baltimore recently, where for the last seven years, a bar called Ale Mary's has appeared which features Catholic sacred objects such as chalices, a monstrance, a holy water font which are used in a kind of faux-church setting where patrons often mock Catholic rituals, objects and personalities.