SELF TORTURE: Disregarding church, Filipino faithful flagellate themselves in bloody ritual
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/18/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Their practices are not condoned by the Catholic Church - who says it takes away from the real meaning behind Lent. Regardless, Filipino men don hoods to conceal their faces, remove their shirts and whip themselves raw in city streets in atonement.
The penitents in San Fernando whip their backs as they make their way along narrow roads which lead to a dusty hill.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Maundy Thursday self-flagellation rituals are common in the Philippines. Penitents walk through the streets whipping themselves or prod themselves with pointed wooden sticks tied to their arms as they take part in rituals to atone for their sins, seek a better life or give thanks.
Hooded penitents in the Philippines flagellate themselves as part of the Maundy Thursday rituals to atone for sins in Mandaluyong, east of Manila.
Thousands of foreign and local visitors line the streets to watch the rituals in San Fernando, north of Manila, and the suburban Mandaluyong, to the east of Manila.
Devotees with wooden stakes tied to their arms pray during a painful ritual as part of the observance of Maundy Thursday in Mandaluyong city.
The penitents in San Fernando whip their backs as they make their way along narrow roads which lead to a dusty hill. Other men, dressed as Jesus Christ are nailed to wooden crosses.
A penitent lies on the ground after flagellating himself during a Holy Week ritual to atone for his sin, on a street in Mandaluyong City.
The Catholic Church in the Philippines strongly disapproves of these rituals. According to UCANews.com, Catholic bishops in the Philippines this week warned penitents not to carry out the rituals of self-flagellation and crucifixion as part of this year's Good Friday observances.
The Catholic Church disapproves of the rituals and warn such expressions of faith could actually take away from the real meaning of Lent.
According to the online encyclopedia, the Christian movement known as the Penitents goes back to the 4th century. Those who had committed serious sins confessed their sins to the bishop or his representative and were assigned a penance that was to be carried out over a period of time. After completing their penance, they were reconciled by the bishop with a prayer of absolution offered in the midst of the community. Penance assumed many forms, such as pilgrimages to holy sites; constructing, repairing and rebuilding churches; and caring for the poor and sick.
Flagellants pray in front of the altar while performing their ritual during the observance of Maundy Thursday in Mandaluyong.
Every year thousands of foreign and local visitors watch the rituals in San Fernando, north of Manila, and the suburban Mandaluyong, to the east of Manila.
During the time they worked out their penances, the penitents often had special places in church and wore special garments to indicate their status. Like the catechumens who were preparing for baptism, they were often dismissed from the Sunday assembly after the Liturgy of the Word. The use of ashes at the beginning of Lent is an extension of the use of ashes with those entering the Order of Penitents.
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