Catholic in Philippines frowns on crucifixion
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday urged the faithful to stop the practice of "crucifixion" and self-flogging during Holy Week. Philippines Authority announced that at least 24 "penitents" are expected to be nailed on the cross on Good Friday, an annual ritual meant to atone for sins and give thanks to God for blessings. Archbishop Jose Palma, President of CBCP said the Church does not encourage these spectacles because that is not the desire of Jesus Christ.
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"We are aware that this has been practiced long before . . . but we still hope that this will not be done any more," the CBCP official said. "We hope that little by little, we go back to God, and rejoice because the Son of God saved us from sin and He made us part of His family," Archbishop Jose Palma said.
In some parts of the country, the re-enactment of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ has become a tradition. This is practiced in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga, where some Church members are nailed on the cross on Good Friday. In other areas, penitents whip themselves under the heat of the sun. Palma said that instead of self-flagellation, it would be better if the faithful spend time praying and venerating the cross.
"We hope that the spirit of prayer will be emphasized during this season. In celebrating the Holy Week, we should all concentrate on prayers," the CBCP official stressed. He explained that it is only through prayers that the faithful will realize the essence of Holy Week.