Because I love it when you call me ‘Il Papa!’
Your humble servants at PRNewser kinda’ dig Pope Francis. And what he said over the weekend gave us another reason to consider this man to be a righteous dude. (And pun seriously intended. Shout out to Jesus!)
Recently he visited an agricultural region of southern Italy called Molise. Unemployment is grossly out of whack, poverty is widespread, yet faith is still a priority. It was there, according to this story in Yahoo! News (via AP), that he indicated that opening stores and other businesses on Sundays as a way to create jobs wasn’t beneficial for society.
In fact, he believes if church folk won’t work on Sundays, then no one should work on Sundays.
And the Church said, “AMEN!”
The Pontiff’s premise was that spending Sundays with family and friends is an “ethical choice” for faithful and non-faithful alike; one that’s “not economic, but human.”
Now, we understand there are plenty of younger PR pros out there reading this rubbing the wood grain off their Rosaries because working on weekends kinda’ suck. And now, you got this guy agreeing with you. Pope Francis believes the stress should be on families and friendships, not commercial relationships.
But is that really the case?
You see, the one thing causing the Pope a skosh of bad PR on this mandate is that he didn’t specify the “Sabbath” — Saturday or Sunday. In religious circles, this argument is about as fabled as the story of Jesus itself. Without getting too churchy, neither the Old nor the New Testament distinguish between the two — the “seventh day” is the only day designated as the Sabbath.
“Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made; and He RESTED on the seventh day from all His work which He had made. And God BLESSED the seventh day, and SANCTIFIED it: because that in it He had RESTED from all His work which God created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3 KJV).
On the Roman (Julian) calendar, that day was Saturday (look at your calendar — Sunday to Saturday). Now, before you kick your shoes off and turn off the phones for good on that special day, that didn’t last long. In fact, many theologians believe that ended in A.D. 321 with Constantine when he “changed” the Sabbath to Sunday. Why? Agricultural reasons, and that held muster until the Catholic Church Council of Laodicea met around A.D. 364.
“Christians shall not Judaize and be idle on Saturday (Sabbath), but shall work on that Day: but the Lord’s Day, they shall especially honour; and as being Christians, shall, if possible, do no work on that day. If however, they are found Judaizing, they shall be shut out from Christ.”
Of course, if you ask any Seventh-day Adventist, they’ll cuss me out on a Sunday because of what I just wrote.
And that’s why Pope Francis left that suggestion open-ended. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat! Most of you may have fallen asleep during that PR exposition. Point made: Brother wants a day off. Give it to him, Catholic Church. We will gladly honor that with you. Amen.