The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) warned penitents today against crucifying themselves this Holy Week. Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, CBCP president, said the Church would rather have people renewing their faith than inflicting pain on themselves. “While we are trying to discourage these practices we cannot also judge their intention, especially those who have made it as their vow," the prelate said. Archbishop Palma said the Church would rather have the faithful focus on the spiritual aspect of their lives than on external manifestations of their faith. "We do not judge and condemn [the practice] but we discourage it," he added. At least 20 people are already scheduled to be crucified or nailed to wooden crosses in the province of Pampanga on Good Friday. Tens of thousands of local and foreign tourists are expected to flock to the province to witness the traditional re-enactment of the passion and death of Jesus Christ.
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