No crucifixions please–prelate

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Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma. Photo from http://www.cbcponline.net/

MANILA, Philippines—Don’t have yourselves crucified.

The head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Tuesday urged devout Filipinos not to have themselves nailed to a cross, not unlike Jesus Christ, during Holy Week.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, called on believers to focus instead on their inner conversion and the religious activities in their parishes rather than flogging themselves or having themselves crucified.

He said the Church wanted the faithful to instill in their hearts during Holy Week the need for a “real conversion to God” and his saving grace.

“While we know that it shouldn’t be through those means (crucifixion and flagellation), still we hope (that) little by little, that we go in the real spirit, our return to God and our commemoration of God’s redemption of mankind,” Palma said over Church-run Radio Veritas.

He said Holy Week should be a time of prayer, abstinence and reflection for the millions of Catholic Filipinos.

“We know that we have been practicing this in principle for a long time [but] I hope that we could emphasize more the spirit of prayer. It’s true that in celebrating Holy Week we should concentrate more on prayers,” Palma said.

“Beginning Holy Thursday with the washing of the feet and the Visita Iglesia, these are the wonderful ways of celebrating the Holy Week,” he said.

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