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Germany: Catholic Church and other German ecclesial institutions against shops opening on Christmas Eve

In Germany, the Catholic Church rejects the idea that shops may be kept open on Christmas Eve, which is a Sunday this year. The German Bishops Conference rejects it, “based on the applicable laws on Sundays and the protection of holidays”, the spokesperson, Matthias Kopp, said to the German Catholic news agency Kna. “For last-minute shopping, we will have all the week before that and the Saturday”, Kopp says. “For many people, starting Christmas Eve in Sunday peace will be a good opportunity to slow down before such an important holiday”. The vast majority of Germans too (87.2%) are against shops being open on December 24th, according to “Die Welt” newspaper’s recent survey. The Catholic Worker Movement (Kab) and other ecclesial institutions too took position against the shops being open. In most Federal States, additional opening times are possible on special occasions, for instance for food markets and bakeries. But the discount chains Aldi and Penny announced they will not be opening their stores on Christmas Eve, and the Rhineland-Palatinate and Hessen Landers said that, except for very few exceptions, the shops will not be open on Christmas Eve Sunday.

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