Pope Francis initiates Vatican push for global work-free Sunday

July 2014RELIGION If your job has you working on Sunday, the world leader of the Roman Catholic Church says maybe that’s not a good thing. “A work-free Sunday — with the exception of necessary services — says that our priority is not to economics, but the human being, gratuity, non-commercial relations, rather family and friends, for believers it means a relationship with God and with the community,” Pope Francis told a massive crowd in Molise, Italy, on July 5, according to Vatican Radio. “Perhaps it is time to ask whether it is a true freedom to work on Sundays.” The address was the pontiff’s first public appearance in the southern Italian city and focused on the world of work and the needs of families. Francis initially met with a university official, a Fiat factory worker, and a young mother who is pregnant with her second child, he said. The Molise region is suffering from high unemployment, reports indicate, and Sunday work is often cited as a way to grow the local economy. “Another challenge was voiced by this good working mother, who also spoke on behalf of her family: her husband, her young child and the baby in her womb. Her’s is a plea for work and at the same time for the family. Thank you for this testimony! In fact, it is a case of trying to reconcile work with family life,” the pope stated, referencing the woman’s concern about having Sunday as a time to play with her children. Francis continued, “This also raises the issue of working Sundays, which affects not only believers, but it affects everyone, as an ethical choice. We are losing this free space!
The question is what do we want to prioritize?” The quest for “free space” once a week is not a new theme for a pope or for the Catholic Church. In 1998, Pope John Paul II issued an apostolic letter, Dies Domini, or “The Lord’s Day,” in which the former archbishop of Krackow pleaded for a more spiritual emphasis. “(W)hen Sunday loses its fundamental meaning and becomes merely part of a ‘weekend,’ it can happen that people stay locked within a horizon so limited that they can no longer see ‘the heavens,’” John Paul wrote. “Hence, though ready to celebrate, they are really incapable of doing so. The disciples of Christ, however, are asked to avoid any confusion between the celebration of Sunday, which should truly be a way of keeping the Lord’s Day holy, and the ‘weekend,’ understood as a time of simple rest and relaxation.” Francis’ remarks did not go as far as those of his predecessor, but media reporting interpreted his words as calling for a return to a simpler age: “Pope Francis has lamented the abandoning of the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays, saying it has a negative impact on families and friendships,” the Associated Press reported. The call for a work-free Sunday has expanded — in Europe, at least — beyond the confines of the Roman Catholic Church. A European Sunday Alliance exists to lobby for legal recognition of workers’ rights to a day off, as embodied in various European Union charters. Such calls have engendered concerns over the rights of individuals who do not observe Sunday as a holy day, however: “Economic arguments aside, religious minorities in Europe — among them Muslims, Jews and Seventh-day Adventists — worry the proposal could infringe on free expression of religious beliefs, despite its seemingly well-intentioned goals of reducing stress and overwork,” the Adventist News Network reported in February 2014. Taking a day off each week has clear benefits for individuals and their families, as a Deseret News report in April outlined. –Central Talky News/
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4 Responses to Pope Francis initiates Vatican push for global work-free Sunday

  1. Irene C says:

    I’m not a fan of the Pope, but I do remember the days when people didn’t work on Sundays, except for essential personnel. We had no businesses open, one drug store that would alternate locations, and a couple of restaurants where people went to eat after church. It was a peaceful day spent with family. And no beer sales anywhere. We called it the Blue Law. I have fond memories of Sunday afternoons, eating lunch, and playing at one of the local parks.

  2. Joseph Sonny Skies says:

    I believe his heart is in the right place but it is nearly impossible to implement. For those that observe other days there is a need also. The main thrust I believe is that there should not be a mandatory work for seven days per week and believe me there are those that would want to whip workers into the slavery of seven day work weeks.

  3. niebo says:

    “Global” anything makes me nervous, especially when the “religion” that pushes for it knows that shabat (Hebrew for “sabbath”) means seven, or the seventh day, not the first. . . .

  4. Info says:


    Wednesday = The fourth day of the week = Mittwoch = German = Middle Week

    Sabbath is the seventh day

    [Middle English, from Old English Wodnesdæg, Woden’s day.]

    Word History:

    The seven-day system we use is based on the ancient astrological notion that the seven celestial bodies (the sun, the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn) revolving around stationary Earth influence what happens on it and that each of these celestial bodies controls the first hour of the day named after it.

    This system was brought into Hellenistic Egypt from Mesopotamia, where astrology had been practiced for millenniums and where seven had always been a propitious number.

    In A.D. 321 the Emperor Constantine the Great grafted this astrological system onto the Roman calendar, made the first day of this new week a day of rest and worship for all, and imposed the following sequence and names to the days of the week: Diês Solis, “Sun’s Day”; Diês Lúnae, “Moon’s Day”; Diês Martis, “Mars’s Day”; Diês Mercuriì, “Mercury’s Day”; Diês Iovis, “Jove’s Day” or “Jupiter’s Day”; Diês Veneris, “Venus’s Day”; and Diês Saturnì, “Saturn’s Day.”

    This new Roman system was adopted with modifications throughout most of western Europe: in the Germanic languages, such as Old English, the names of four of the Roman gods were converted into those of the corresponding Germanic gods.

    Therefore in Old English we have the following names (with their Modern English developments): Sunnandæg, Sunday; Monandæg, Monday; Tìwesdæg, Tuesday (the god Tiu, like Mars, was a god of war); Wodnesdæg, Wednesday (the god Woden, like Mercury, was quick and eloquent); Thunresdæg, Thursday (the god Thunor in Old English or Thor in Old Norse, like Jupiter, was lord of the sky; Old Norse Thorsdagr influenced the English form); Frìgedæg, Friday (the goddess Frigg, like Venus, was the goddess of love); and Saeternesdæg, Saturday.

    The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition is licensed from Houghton Mifflin Company. Copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


    “You do not bring1 the Name of יהוה Elohim to naught,
    for יהוה does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.

    “Remember the Sabbath day, to set it apart.
    “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work,
    but the seventh day is a Sabbath1 of יהוה Elohim.

    You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.

    “For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth,
    the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day.
    Therefore יהוה blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.
    (Exodus 20:7-11 The Scriptures ’98+)


    It is amazing, that Christians,
    consider Constantine’s Pagan Sunday,
    more important that יהוה Sabbath.

    This means that Constantine had more authority than,
    the Son of יהוה in heaven,
    so why bother to worship the Son in Heaven?

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