MANILA, Philippines - Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday discouraged the practice of some Filipinos to be nailed on the cross on Good Friday.
Palma issued the statement following reports that 20 people would be crucified on April 6 in Barangays Pedro Catud, Santa Lucia and San Juan, all in Pampanga.
The CBCP official told the Church-run Radio Veritas that while penitents have their own reasons for wanting to be nailed on the cross, he reminded them that the Catholic Church frowns on these practices.
“We do not judge and condemn but we discourage it. There might be some who have made a vow (of getting nailed on the cross) and if they don’t do it, they will feel guilty,” he said.
Instead, Palma urged them take part in Holy Week activities such as Palm Sunday, Passion of the Lord, Paschal Triduum, Chrism Mass, the Last Supper and the Seven Last Words.
Emeritus Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani asked the faithful to look for other ways to show their repentance for their sins instead of inflicting pain on themselves by being nailed on the cross.
“One way of paying for your sins is by showing concern, doing good deeds to others, and helping people. This is what they should do instead of punishing themselves,” Bacani added.
Boac Marinduque Bishop Rey Evangelista also advised the youth to refrain from playing loud music during the Holy Week.
Jaro, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo called on politicians not take advantage of the Holy Week to campaign for the 2013 elections.
Meanwhile, religious leaders yesterday appealed to government troops and rebels to observe a Holy Week truce.
Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said it is unfortunate that soldiers and communist insurgents would continue to fight even during the Lenten season.
“I hope that both sides would declare a ceasefire as a sign of respect in our observance of Lent. The Lenten season is also a time for peace and reconciliation,” Medroso added.
Jolo Bishop Angelito Lampon said a ceasefire must be observed between government troops and the Moro insurgents in Mindanao.
Malacañang earlier announced that it would not be declaring a truce with the communist rebels this Holy Week.
Task forces activated for Holy Week
Security forces will activate three task forces in Metro Manila next week to ensure the safety and convenience of the public during the Holy Week break, the military said yesterday.
Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said the military and the police will activate Joint Task Forces Land, Maritime and Civil-Military Operations on April 4.
He said these task groups will remain active until April 10 and will be extended if necessary. Each joint task force will be composed of 30 personnel.
“The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) will be on guard during the commemoration and observance of the Holy Week. We will provide support to the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and stability,” Burgos told reporters.
The Joint Task Force Land will be tasked to secure the metropolis and to monitor public places like seaports, bus terminals and churches.
Burgos said the task force would augment policemen deployed in Metro Manila, particularly those in EDSA and Cubao.
Task Force Maritime, on the other hand, will conduct visibility patrols in seaports while Task Force Civil Military Operations will provide assistance to the public and will help in traffic management. – With Alexis Romero