No crucifixions, only prayers for Holy Week, Palma says

Posted on April 1, 2012

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In lieu of nails, Filipino Catholics should use prayers to show repentance during the Holy Week, Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said yesterday.

The Cebu prelate, who’s also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said he would rather have people undergo spiritual renewal than resort to crucifixion to demonstrate their faith in Christ.

“But the general rule, the mind of the church is that our identification with Christ should be internal, (to be crucified) that’s more external…ours should be more about spiritual renewal,” Palma said.

In Cebu Gilbert Bargayo will stage his 17th public crucifixion on Good Friday, April 6, in barangay Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City.

He will use sharp six-inch nails to reduce the damage sustained on his hands and feet.

Bargayo said he has a team that makes sure he is safe during his public crucifixion. An assistant makes all the nails are driven in the right spots and a medical team is standing by once Bargayo is taken down from a cross.

Bargayo said he does this ritual every Holy Week as penance and to raise funds for a chapel he wants to build.

Archbishop Palma said he respects those who’ve made vows to undergo crucifixion as their form of penance for the Lenten season.

But Palma said Jesus was already crucified on the cross and rose from the dead to liberate people from sin.

He said the Church frowns on this activity.

“We don’t encourage people to follow this practice,” the CBCP president said.

Palma told the Church-run Radio Veritas that instead of taking a vacation, the faithful should take part in Holy Week events like Palm Sunday, Passion of the Lord, Paschal Triduum, Chrism Mass, the Last Supper and the Seven Last Words.

“Let’s start the season of Lent as the season of repentance and renewal. The important part of the holy week is going to confession, that shows that we really are serious in renewing, and reflect the works of God,” he said. /Fe Marie D. Dumaboc, Correspondent  with Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya

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