Penitents in Philippines plan to crucify themselves despite bishops' pleas
April 03, 2012
Although the Catholic bishops of the Philippines actively discourage the practice, at least 20 zealots plan to crucify themselves on Good Friday, in an annual display that draws hundreds of observers to the province of Pampanga.
The self-crucifixions are performed by people as an atonement for their sins, in most cases after the penitents have taken a vow to perform the public penance. Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, the president of the Filipino bishops’ conference, said: “While we are trying to discourage these practices we cannot also judge their intention, especially those who have made it as their vow.”
Archbishop Palma said that Catholics should seek to improve their prayer lives rather than engage in such spectacular displays of public penance.
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