Vatican City – The Vatican is enlisting the services of eBay, the Silicon Valley internet auction giant, to dispose of valuable items that Pope Francis has decided won’t have anything to do with his reign as head of the 1.2 Billion-strong Catholic Church. Since being elected pope on March 13, the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio has surprised the Vatican Curia with sweeping changes that have signaled a more simple, less materialistic papacy.
Ebay is finalizing the design of a special “Vatican Store” which company executives said will make its public debut on September 1st. Ebay is reportedly providing the Vatican with the auction service pro bono, on the condition that Pope Francis absolve the company of all its past unfair business practices. The Vatican has said that proceeds from the auction will be used to set up a special fund to pay for legal costs in the increasing number of criminal and civil lawsuits the Catholic Church is facing in connection cases of sexual abuse by priests worldwide.
- Pure Gold “Fisherman’s Ring” (Pope Francis has chosen to wear a gold-plated silver ring)
- Red Prada Shoes (Pope Francis is keeping his old black shoes)
- Papal Red Cape (Pope Francis has chosen to wear a simple white cassock)
- Pure Gold Pectoral Cross (Pope Francis insists on keeping the iron-plated pectoral cross he used as archbishop)
The Vatican is also considering renting out the papal room at the Apostolic Palace which overlooks St. Peter’s Square (Palazzo Apostolico) to tourists since Pope Francis has opted to live in the Vatican guest house, along with other priests and bishops.