Author Topic: Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?  (Read 1246 times)

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Offline nctradcath

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Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
« on: January 23, 2016, 07:10:01 PM »
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  • Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays? such as using the time in the day to do reports?

    Offline OHCA

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #1 on: January 23, 2016, 07:27:10 PM »
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  • Devoting the day to religious reading and such spiritual activity is by far preferable.  But so long as it does not interfere with your obligation to attend Mass, it is not sinful as it is not servile work.  Manual-labor/servile work would be sinful.


    Offline Desmond

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #2 on: January 23, 2016, 07:42:02 PM »
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  • Quote from: OHCA
    Devoting the day to religious reading and such spiritual activity is by far preferable.  But so long as it does not interfere with your obligation to attend Mass, it is not sinful as it is not servile work.  Manual-labor/servile work would be sinful.


    May I ask where this distinction comes from?

    So, for instance, someone working in an office, as a clerk, a lawyer, writen, IT consultant, secretary.. could literally work on Sunday?


    Offline OHCA

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #3 on: January 23, 2016, 07:44:02 PM »
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  • Quote from: Desmond
    Quote from: OHCA
    Devoting the day to religious reading and such spiritual activity is by far preferable.  But so long as it does not interfere with your obligation to attend Mass, it is not sinful as it is not servile work.  Manual-labor/servile work would be sinful.


    May I ask where this distinction comes from?

    So, for instance, someone working in an office, as a clerk, a lawyer, writen, IT consultant, secretary.. could literally work on Sunday?



    Yes.  I read it in an old Baltimore Catechism.  And my priest (SSPX formed in the days of ABL) recently mentioned this too.

    Offline Nadir

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #4 on: January 24, 2016, 03:19:32 PM »
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  • Quote from: Desmond


    May I ask where this distinction comes from?

    So, for instance, someone working in an office, as a clerk, a lawyer, writen, IT consultant, secretary.. could literally work on Sunday?



    We learnt in our catechisms that it is sinful to do "unnecessary servile work" on Sundays. Nursing the sick in a hospital setting would not be regarded as unnecessary. I understand that servile work is work done by an employee for money. But the OP seems to be suggesting he is doing work for himself. I believe OHCA gave the correct response.

    Quote
    Baltimore Catechism No. 3 - Lesson 32

    Q. 1252. What is forbidden by the third Commandment?

    A. The third Commandment forbids all unnecessary servile work and whatever else may hinder the due observance of the Lord's day.

    http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/faith/bc3-32.htm


    Online 2Vermont

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #5 on: January 24, 2016, 03:35:26 PM »
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  • So what would housework be considered?  I have tried to avoid all housework on Sundays.
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17

    Offline OHCA

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #6 on: January 24, 2016, 03:38:52 PM »
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  • Quote from: 2Vermont
    So what would housework be considered?  I have tried to avoid all housework on Sundays.


    Cleaning, laundry, and such would generally be considered servile work.

    Offline Nadir

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #7 on: January 24, 2016, 03:44:55 PM »
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  • Whatever can be left until Monday. That would exclude cooking, if the need is to feed a growing family. I guess that is why Monday was traditionally Washing Day.


    Online 2Vermont

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #8 on: January 24, 2016, 04:23:31 PM »
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  • Quote from: OHCA
    Quote from: 2Vermont
    So what would housework be considered?  I have tried to avoid all housework on Sundays.


    Cleaning, laundry, and such would generally be considered servile work.


    I am curious about laundry because technically, other than folding the clothes, there is no work really since the machines do it all for us now.
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17

    Offline OHCA

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #9 on: January 24, 2016, 04:29:03 PM »
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  • Quote from: 2Vermont
    Quote from: OHCA
    Quote from: 2Vermont
    So what would housework be considered?  I have tried to avoid all housework on Sundays.


    Cleaning, laundry, and such would generally be considered servile work.


    I am curious about laundry because technically, other than folding the clothes, there is no work really since the machines do it all for us now.


    Good point--I was thinking the same thing about taking 90 seconds to put a load of dishes in a dishwasher.  A lot of tasks are automated that used to be labor intensive.

    Online 2Vermont

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #10 on: January 24, 2016, 04:32:22 PM »
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  • Quote from: OHCA
    Quote from: 2Vermont
    Quote from: OHCA
    Quote from: 2Vermont
    So what would housework be considered?  I have tried to avoid all housework on Sundays.


    Cleaning, laundry, and such would generally be considered servile work.


    I am curious about laundry because technically, other than folding the clothes, there is no work really since the machines do it all for us now.


    Good point--I was thinking the same thing about taking 90 seconds to put a load of dishes in a dishwasher.  A lot of tasks are automated that used to be labor intensive.


    Oh shoot...and this is exactly what I did today (well, unloaded).  Perhaps these are examples of letter vs spirit of the law?
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17


    Offline Nadir

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #11 on: January 24, 2016, 04:35:12 PM »
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  • It all depends whether you're rich or poor. The majority of the world is poor and laundry is still hard work for most of the world.

    Online 2Vermont

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #12 on: January 24, 2016, 04:45:31 PM »
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  • Quote from: Nadir

    It all depends whether you're rich or poor. The majority of the world is poor and laundry is still hard work for most of the world.


    Understood.  
    "For there is not any thing secret that shall not be made manifest, nor hidden, that shall not be known and come abroad."- Luke 8:17

    Offline Desmond

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #13 on: January 24, 2016, 04:54:52 PM »
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  • Well the Padre Pio anecdote I mentioned in the other thread recounts him telling a young maiden she had to confess her sin of... watering flowers on a Sunday.

    I'm not sure it's a genuine story though.

    Offline JPM

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    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays?
    « Reply #14 on: January 25, 2016, 12:32:48 PM »
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  • Quote from: nctradcath
    Is it sinful to do non-manual clerical work on Sundays? such as using the time in the day to do reports?


    Well it depends on the reports, I guess.  It is not only servile works that are prohibited, but judicial acts and commercial occupation. So reports done for your occupation would likely be prohibited unless they are necessary. You probably shouldn't execute legal documents or purchase property on Sundays and Holy Days.

    Another distinction is that the phrase "servile works" is not perfectly synonymous with "manual labor" as it is popularly understood (i.e. physically demanding work).  In fact, Aquinas classifies worship of God as a servile work; one which is obligatory on Sundays and Holy Days. The particular definition is found in whom the servile work is meant to serve (God or man).

    A further distinction is whether or not the work is "necessary." It is never permitted to do unnecessary servile work on Sundays and Holy Days.  

    So, to sum up, if the reports are for your commercial occupation you probably shouldn't do it unless it is absolutely necessary.  As in, you found out Saturday night they are due at 8am Monday.

    If they are for personal use (i.e. you are working on your household budget), I would still avoid it because I don't think accounting would be considered a "liberal work."

    Years ago, I was designing our home for construction and architectural drawing is considered by Jone (Moral Theology) to be a liberal work.  Even then, Jone warns that a liberal work can become a preoccupation and therefore take away from the purpose of rendering what is owed to God on Sundays and Holy Days.


     

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