A bishop in the Philippines is discouraging the faithful from practising acts such as crucifixion and self-flagellation as penance during Holy Week.
"The real expression of Christian faith during Lent is through repentance and self- denial," Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez was quoted saying by the Manila Bulletin.
"People should avoid self-flagellation. There are many ways of repenting for our sins," he said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
Another Catholic prelate, Bishop Rolando Tirona, likewise expressed his disapproval of self-flagellation and crucifixion by Catholic penitents which, he said, "are expressions of superstitious beliefs and are usually done out of the need for money and for tourism purposes which is totally wrong."
"The Lenten season is a sacred celebration for reflection and repentance and not for money-making. But you can't judge them. But if it is done out of tourism, that is unacceptable. That is deception," he said.
Bishop Tirona said the Catholic Church allows Holy Week activities that are consistent with the teachings of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ.
"It is enough to remember the life and death of Jesus Christ during Holy Week through fasting, abstinence, prayer, reflection, and almsgiving."
No to crucifixion - bishops (Manila Bulletin)
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