The Archbishop of Paris and President of the Bishops’ Conference of France, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, has criticized laws that extend the workday on Sundays, which he recalled is the Day of the Lord and an opportunity for family time.
The cardinal, who made his comments during the inauguration of the bishops’ Plenary Assembly, asked, “Is earning more money the main purpose of human existence?” adding that for Christians, Sunday “is the day of the Lord, but also a day for family time.”
“If the law extend the workday on Sundays, the harm to people and to society that will result will have an economic impact,” he warned. Such a step would further “the rupture in our collective life and would have no small effect on Christians,” he stated.
During his remarks the cardinal also recalled the recent visit by Benedict XVI to France, who “showed to attentive and unbiased observers that the image of a decadent Church does not correspond to reality.”
The cardinal’s words come as the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy attempts to breathe life into the French economy by loosening restrictions on sales. Opponents of the change point to the1906 law forbiding sales on Sundays as upholding a less spending-obsessed French way of life.