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Sunday March 25, 2012 www.thecatholicuniverse.com
When you spend €25 or more on gifts at Veritas stores or online See page 28
First marriage and crucifixes, now ministers attack Sunday
By James Kelly
The proposed scrapping of Sunday trading restrictions during the Olympics has been described by the Bishops of England and Wales as “a grave mistake.”
They went on to express their concern that this could be the path to complete deregulation of trading laws protecting the Christian day of rest.
Following speculation that the Government would temporarily suspend trading regulations during the London Olympics – which prohibit large shops from opening for any longer than six hours on a Sunday – Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne confirmed the move on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
He said that a law would be introduced, without the standard consultation process, allowing Olympic stores, as well as supermarkets and shopping centres across the country, to set unre
Church questions link between Olympics and shopping amidst moves to scrap trading restrictions stricted opening hours for eight weekends over the summer. Mr Osborne said: “We’ve got the whole world coming to London – and the rest of the country – for the Olympics. It would be a great shame, particularly when some of the big Olympic events are on Sunday, if the country had a ‘closed for business’ sign on it.” When pressed, he refused to rule-out a permanent extension of Sunday trading laws.
Speaking to The Universe, a spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said “The limited deregulation of Sunday trading has to a large extent diluted the atmosphere of Sunday as a day of rest, recreation and renewal of relationships. Nonetheless, the special atmosphere of Sunday has not been entirely lost. For many, it is still not a day like every other day.”
He said: “We believe that it would be a grave mistake to deregulate further the laws on Sunday trading, even on a temporary basis for the Olympics.
“Upholding the positive value of Sunday as it currently is would actually enable people to enjoy and celebrate the Olympics on that day.”
Pointing to the benefits of keeping a legally recognised day of rest, he said, “The different atmosphere of Sunday which remains, despite partial deregulation, is good for society. It supports a healthier work-life balance and gives space for families and communities.
“It provides one small but significant bulwark against the tide of commercialism by claiming time for something other than paid work – as a day of rest and in particular for family life.
“On the whole, very many people in the UK recognise and value the distinctive nature of Sunday.
“We would all be the poorer if it became just like any other day of the week, and we would be concerned that any temporary further deregulation would lead to a permanent change,” he concluded. Mgr Vladimir Felzmann, Catholic Chaplain for Sport and Chief Executive of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport, questioned whether shopping was actually part of the Olympics.
Continued on page 4
... but gay marriage is NOT a ‘human right’ , say Euro judges, as Coalition stance is torpedoed see pages 2 and 12
‘God is in control’ as nation prays for recovery of Fabrice Muamba
Chelsea defender Gary Cahill proudly displays tribute to Fabrice Muamba after scoring his first goal for the club in their 5-2 FA Cup win over Leicester this week.
The Catholic former Bolton ace’s gesture reflected the prayers of the nation as his old team mate continues to fight for recovery after he collapsed with heart problems during Bolton’s FA Cup fixture at Tottenham last weekend.
See Simon Lee on page 12
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