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The National Sunday Law

John Paul II: Legislate Sunday Rest

In light of Ellen White's prediction that Sunday legislation would be the means of the papacy's regaining its lost supremacy (Great Controversy, p. 581), it is interesting to note that the papacy has been calling for Sunday legislation. We quote below from the verbose Dies Domini, a papal encyclical that John Paul II issued on May 31, 1998:

66. . . . When, through the centuries, she has made laws concerning Sunday rest, (109) the Church has had in mind above all the work of servants and workers, certainly not because this work was any less worthy when compared to the spiritual requirements of Sunday observance, but rather because it needed greater regulation to lighten its burden and thus enable everyone to keep the Lord's Day holy. In this matter, my predecessor Pope Leo XIII in his Encyclical Rerum Novarum spoke of Sunday rest as a worker's right which the State must guarantee. (110) . . .

67. . . . Therefore, also in the particular circumstances of our own time, Christians will naturally strive to ensure that civil legislation respects their duty to keep Sunday holy.—bold added.

The above thoughts were previously incorporated into the new Catechism of the Catholic Church which came out back in 1993. Notice the following quotation from it:

2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays.

Thus we have both John Paul and the official catechism of the Church of Rome calling upon Catholics everywhere to work toward a national Sunday law. Coincidence or not, it sounds similar to what Ellen White predicted long ago.

It might be hoped that all that is being sought is that workers be able to rest on Sunday if they wish, but the papacy historically has gone beyond simply protecting people's religious freedom. It isn't the protection of voluntary Sunday rest that is sought, but the enforcement of mandatory Sunday rest. More on this in our next page.

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