Pope appeals for respectful Sundays

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pope Benedict XVI
Image: Agência Brasil.

Pope Benedict XVI, speaking on the third final day of a visit to Vienna, Austria, has appealed for renewed respect for Sundays.

In the Roman Catholic Church, Sundays are called the Hebrew word Shābath (now called the Sabbath), meaning "to rest". Originally on Saturdays, which is still retained in the Jewish faith, it was changed to Sunday by Catholics in the commemoration of the resurrection of Christ which was on Sunday.

During a Mass at St Stephen's Cathedral, the Pope promoted leisure time as 'something good and necessary amid the mad rush of a modern world,' but warned that leisure without a focus (on faith) could be wasted time. As part of his sermon, he also encouraged the congregation to 'give the soul its Sunday — give Sunday its soul,' quoting a 20th Century bishop from Germany.

The Pope is in Austria to mark the 850th anniversary of the foundation of the Shrine of Mariazell. Today, he will also take part in a recitation of the Angelus Domini, and visit Heiligenkreuz Abbey before a farewell ceremony at the international airport of Vienna/Schwechat.