Jesuit Organ Backs Exemption for Orthodox Jews from Sunday Law

America, the national Roman Catholic weekly, has come cut strongly in its current issue in support of a Fair Sabbath law for New York City. The stand was considered a major break in the previously unyielding Catholic opposition to any changes in Sunday closing laws.

The editorial was apparently evoked by the action of the New York Legislature approving authorization for New York City to enact such a law between September 1 and December 31 of this year. A spokesman for the Jesuit periodical said this appeared to be the first time that the magazine had explicitly endorsed passage of a municipal Fair Sabbath law.

“The people who stand to benefit most from the Sabbatarian exemptions are mostly Orthodox Jews who religiously observe Saturday as their day of rest, ” the America editorial said. “To allow them to open shop on Sunday will not seriously impede the Sunday closing law’s purpose of keeping one day a week free of business occupations and will relieve conscientious Jews of what they regard as an inequality.”

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