CAMPOBASSO, Italy (AP) — 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.
Francis on Saturday traveled to Molise, an agricultural region in the heart of southern Italy where unemployment is chronically high. While he said poor people need jobs to have dignity, he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn’t beneficial for society.
Francis said the priority should be “not economic but human,” and that the stress should be on families and friendships, not commercial relationships. He added: “Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves if working on Sundays is true freedom.”
True freedom is being able to decide whether you want to work and shop on Sundays or not. It is not a top-down mandate to close up shop on the Christian holy day.