Mobility

Monetizing the images of Catholic saints via cellphones

Cellphone service companies are cashing in, thanks to the growing mobile craze. Not only can you can buy ringtones, games, and videos to download on your cellphone, but now you can also purchase images of Catholic saints. Sounds great, right? Not according to some leaders in the Catholic Church.

Cellphone service companies are cashing in, thanks to the growing mobile craze. Not only can you can buy ringtones, games, and videos to download on your cellphone, but now you can also purchase images of Catholic saints. Sounds great, right? Not according to some leaders in the Catholic Church.

Excerpts from the story on Reuters:

A company in Italy started offering the service on Tuesday but ran into opposition from some Catholic Church leaders who think the idea is crass and commercial.

The company started the service with 15 saints on offer and [owner Barbara] Labate said the hallowed catalogue will grow. The downloading service, done by sending a text message to a phone number, costs three euros ($4.42). The Web site is santiprotettori.com.

Nearly every shop near the Vatican sells paper "santini" [translation = little saints] but not everyone in the Church thinks cellphones and saints are a marriage made in heaven.

I'm not Catholic, and so I don't know all of the "rules" of the Catholic religion. However, it doesn't make sense that it's okay to sell paper images of the saints, but it's not okay to sell these same images via cellphones. Maybe if the Catholic Church received a percentage of santiprotettori.com's profit, they would be more willing to accept this occurrence and forgive any future transgressions.

Do you think that it's "crass and commercial" to sell images of Catholic saints via cellphone?

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Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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