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'Culture of efficiency' killing Sunday rituals

The Argentine Bishops' Conference has said that a so-called "culture of efficiency" is killing not only religious practice but family life by fostering changes in the way people spend their Sundays.

The Conference has outlined its argument in a statement scheduled for release later this month.

Archbishop Mario Cargnello told journalists at a press conference that the loss of the true sense of Sunday has serious implications for the fabric of society.

"Many believe that this problem concerns only the Catholic Church, but it has deep negative effects in the family and even in the way economy and life are integrated," the archbishop explained. "In the past, the sense of Sunday was implicit, a natural assumption for society, but now we have to claim the right of the Sunday rest, for the good of the person, the family, and society."

The archbishop said that the bishops' conference believes that "the culture of efficiency and the production of material goods, is deeply affecting the sense of time, which is now at the service of ferocious competition."

He continued: "This has a negative effect in the time parents can give to children and, as a consequence, in the way children perceive themselves. We believe that recovering the sense of Sunday is something we have to work seriously on, for the good of the Church and society."