Filipino devotees reenact crucifixion of Christ

Filipinos go to extremes to mark Good Friday

The Yahoo Article does note that this practice is discouraged by the Church and quotes from an Archbishop saying that this practice “is not the desire of Jesus Christ” and hopes that it will not continue.

Should the Church in the Philippines do more to try to discourage or stop it?

(Mods: I’m not sure if this counts as “Catholic News” or “World News.” It’s kind of right on the line, so feel free to move it to the other forum if necessary.)

My Filipino in-laws say that this is done annually and is annually condemned by the Church. When it comes down to it, the Bishops can’t go out and physically force people to stop.

I must admit I personally strongly oppose this practice. It’s not that I am questioning the participant’s faith, but I am questioning their good judgment. Didn’t Christ suffer on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to?

Christ’s suffering and death on the cross atoned for the sins of the world, but suffering has a purpose in our lives. Suffering has a way of purifying us if we accept our sufferings with a humble and contrite heart as “the good thief” did who was crucified with Christ. What these devoted Filipinos do seems extreme to us because we live in a world that tells us that pain and suffering is a bad thing. But think about the extremes that many people go through for physical fitness, dieting, tattoos, etc. There’s even an extreme workout called “insanity”. But Christians suffer for a greater spiritual gain instead of for vanity. As Saint Paul has said, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church”. - Colossians 1:24

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