Bishop Du calls on the people to repent and reflect during the Holy Week

April 1, 2010 10:08 pm 

DUMAGUETE CITY, April 1 — Bishop John F. Du of the Diocese of Dumaguete is calling on the faithful to do penance and a lot of reflection during the observance of Holy Week.

However, he also clarified that while it is acceptable in the Catholic Church, he is discouraging flagellation, crucifixion and similar penitent practices for sins as these need the guidance of those that have the expertise and knowledge of such things.

These acts of penitence transcend a deeper and higher level that many people do not understand and are not aware of, Bishop Du said.

Lenten rites in the Philippines are prominent and a number of the Catholics, mostly males, perform acts of penitence such as flagellation as a form of sacrifice, especially on Good Friday.

Some go to the extent of having themselves crucified in a re-enactment of Christ's suffering, a practice that some Catholics frown upon but in some areas in the Philippines have become a tourism draw.

Bishop Du said there are different ways of observing the Holy Week as he called on the faithful for renewal, forgiveness and transformation.

"This is the occasion where we really need to strengthen our faith. Be prayerful, ask God for guidance for renewal, and for the grace of forgiveness of self and others. For we cannot correct others if we do not correct ourselves," he said.

Other methods of penitence include fasting, abstinence, attending Masses, Visita Iglesia (visiting different churches and offering prayers) and joining the processions.

Activities lined up beginning today, Thursday, at the St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish are the Holy Mass of the Last Supper, the Way of the Cross procession at dawn Friday, the Santo Entiero procession Friday evening, Easter vigil and the Easter Mass celebration, among others. (PNA) LDV/JFP

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