European bishops back proposed EU law on Sunday rest

The secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community has welcomed a proposed EU law that would safeguard Sunday as a day of rest from work.

According to L’Osservatore Romano, the secretariat issued a statement praising the measure proposed by five EU parliamentarians to recognize the value of “Sunday rest as part of the ‘cultural patrimony’ and ‘European social model’.”

“The current economic and financial crisis has made it even more evident that not every aspect of human life can be subject to the laws of the market,” the bishops stressed.

“In fact, consumerism is not a model either for a sustainable economy or for healthy human development.” Sunday work, they continued, “puts those who work on Sunday into a socially disadvantageous position, affecting everything from family life to their own personal health.”

The proposed measure, which would need 394 votes to pass in the EU parliament, would call on member states and EU institutions to “protect Sunday as the weekly day of rest” in order “to improve the protection of workers’ health and the balancing of work and family life.”

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