Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vatican Works To Stop Sunday Shopping In Italy. "Man needs a day of rest."

Vatican Works To Stop Sunday Shopping In Italy

Johanna Touzel, the alliance's spokeswoman, said that setting Sunday aside is not necessarily a religious issue, and not discriminatory towards Jews and Muslims. "We need one day when everyone can rest -- this is the origin of Shabbat. And in fact, even Muslim organizations support us."

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Roman Catholic Church, trade unions and small business associations have joined forces in a bid to save Sundays.
In a bid to spur economic growth, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti backed a new law that allows shops to stay open on the Sabbath.
But Sunday traditions are strong in the European nation, and the change provoked strong resistance from religious and secular groups.
Last month, an Italian shop owners association and the country's Catholic bishops' conference launched a campaign to "free up Sundays." They aim to gather the 50,000 signatures needed to try to repeal the liberalizing shop law.
Confesercenti, the shop owners association, fears that mom-and-pop stores -- the backbone of the Italian retail sector -- will be squeezed by large retailers and American-style malls.
The issue extends beyond Italy. In Brussels, dozens of religious groups -- including the Catholic Church -- unions and business associations from 27 countries have formed the "European Sunday Alliance" to lobby the European Union to keep Sunday as a continentwide day of rest, at least in principle.
Johanna Touzel, the alliance's spokeswoman, said that setting Sunday aside is not necessarily a religious issue, and not discriminatory towards Jews and Muslims. "We need one day when everyone can rest -- this is the origin of Shabbat. And in fact, even Muslim organizations support us."
For the Catholic Church, keeping Sundays free from shopping and work concerns is of larger consequence than the economy.
The Rev. Marco Scattolon of Camposampiero, Italy, became an instant celebrity when he labeled Sunday shopping a sin and called on his parishioners to do penance for it. Sundays, he told the Corriere del Veneto newspaper, are important "not just in the religious sense." "They are one of the few occasions left for families to be together."
Bishop Antonio Mattiazzo of Padua sided with Scattolon while other bishops publicly signed the Confesercenti campaign.
"The broad consensus in opposing Sunday openings shows that having a common weekly day for rest is something that benefits everyone, not just believers," says Luca Diotallevi, a Catholic sociologist who advises Italy's bishops on social issues. "Sunday has not just a social value but a theological one too: Man needs to have a holy day."
Others go even further in arguing for work-free Sundays.
Mimmo Muolo, a journalist for Italy's official Catholic newspaper Avvenire, in his recent book, "Le feste scippate" ("The Stolen Holidays"), argues that "the 24/7 retail cycle has reintroduced a system of slaves and masters." He said that employees who have no choice but to work on Sundays -- and thus have no time for family and other social activities -- are "Sunday slaves."
At least in Italy, there are signs that few businesses have taken advantage of the reform.
Before the usual Christmas shopping rush kicked in, it was difficult to find many open shops on Sundays outside the tourist areas of the city centers.
"It is pointless because people don't have enough money to spend," says Anna Lucentini, 35, a saleswoman on one of Rome's busiest commercial streets.
She says that the only result of the Sunday-opening reform is that employees will have to work more at their bosses' request. "In Italy, those who still have a job are afraid to lose it and so let themselves be exploited without complaining."
Still, opposing the liberalization of store opening schedules is winning the church some unexpected sympathy. Lorena Vargas, 21, just learned about the bishops-backed campaign. "For once, the church is doing a good thing," she says. "I could even start going to Mass."[1]

What’s really ironic…..these laws were created by an antichrist Antiochus, and are the same things Constantine would later repeat in 325CE and this is what people want to live by today. Totally going against God’s Word. People today are living under laws created by Antiochus and Constantine; an antichrist. [a]

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

8 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work;
9 but the seventh day is a sabbath unto the LORD thy God, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;
10 for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The importance and sanctity of Shabbat can not be over stated. Shabbat is not a man made holy day based on the determination of some counsel of priests. Shabbat was set apart for special observance by God Himself! As we read in the Torah:

Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, along with everything in them.
2 On the seventh day God was finished with his work which he had made, so he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 God blessed the seventh day and separated it as holy; because on that day God rested from all his work which he had created, so that it itself could produce.
Shabbat, the Sabbath or seventh day, stands unique among the days of the week. Shabbat was specifically set apart as holy (kodesh in the Hebrew) by God Himself. Of this word kodesh we read:

A primitive root; to be (causatively make, pronounce or observe as) clean (ceremonially or morally): - appoint, bid, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, (be, keep) holy (-er, place), keep, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify (-ied one, self), X wholly (Strong's: H6942).

This could not be any more clear. Shabbat is the most important ritual observance in biblical religion. Observing Shabbat is the sign that one is in a covenant relationship with HaShem. As our Siddur (prayer book) translates Exodus 31:13: "Above all, my Sabbaths you shall keep; for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations that you may know that I am the Lord who sanctifies you.

"Above all." This allows for no exceptions. There is not a single verse anywhere in the 66 books of the Bible that nullifies this direct command, nor a single verse sanctifying any other week day, including Sunday, as being kodesh (holy).[2]

[1]  http://www.huffingtonpost.com

[2] The importance of Shabbat. http://yeshivabethhashem.org/

[a] http://natzrim.blogspot.com/2011/04/constantine-creed.html



Elixir Mitzvah Compilation Fall 2010 from Elixir Entertainment on Vimeo.

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