Bishops Reject Crucifixion, Flagellation During Lent

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

MANILA, March 22, 2010-The Roman Catholic Church rejects crucifixion, flagellation and similar practices of some Catholics during Holy Week.

Real expression of Christian faith during Lent, the bishops said, is through repentance and self-renewal.

"People should avoid self-flagellation. There are many other ways of repenting [for] our sins," said Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez of Marbel over Catholic Church-run Radyo Veritas.

Infanta Bishop Rolando Tirona believes that flagellation and crucifixion are expressions of superstitious beliefs.

He also said that they are usually done out of need for money and for tourism purposes "which [are] totally wrong."

The Lenten season is a sacred celebration, he said, for "reflection and repentance" and not for money-making.

"But you cannot really judge them. But if it's done out of tourism, that is already unacceptable. That is deception," Tirona said.

The Church, according to him, allows Holy Week activities that are consistent with the teachings on the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The bishops said it is enough to remember the life and death of Christ during Holy Week through fasting and abstinence, prayer and reflection, and almsgiving. (CBCPNews)