Like his predecessors, Pope Francis is promoting Sunday rest. The pope said that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays is not beneficial to society. Abandoning the traditionally Christian practice of not working on Sundays has a negative impact on families and friendships, he said.
The priority should be “not economic but human,” he added. While poor people need jobs, Sunday business as a way to create those jobs is not helpful. “Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom,” he asked in his speech in Molise, Italy, and an agricultural region that he visited on Saturday, July 5. Spending Sundays with family and friends is an “ethical choice” for faithful and non-faithful alike.
Though the pope did not mention attending church services on Sunday, papal promotion of Sunday rest is laying the foundation for Sunday worship.
The pope quipped: “Waste time with your children!”
“More and more the world is setting at naught the claims of God. Men have become bold in transgression. The wickedness of the inhabitants of the world has almost filled up the measure of their iniquity. This earth has almost reached the place where God will permit the destroyer to work his will upon it. The substitution of the laws of men for the law of God, the exaltation, by merely human authority, of Sunday in place of the Bible Sabbath, is the last act in the drama. When this substitution becomes universal, God will reveal Himself. He will arise in His majesty to shake terribly the earth. He will come out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the world for their iniquity, and the earth shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 7, page 141