Are traditions such as flogging and carrying and being nailed to a cross as a personal sacrifice sinful acts?
For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.
Are you going to make God feel bad for you? Are you feeling bad so you're making God feel bad? Intentions to make God feel bad? Trying to make God feel bad will anger God. God wants to feel good. Personal distress for going the wrong way reflects the heart and the Christian soul is flogged by the spirit of truth who shows when it is wrong or right. A wise person will discern this and make corrections, all the while God is looking down in favor. That is why we don't need beating or punishments because the Christian with the spirit of truth will correct himself. It's a complicated question. Any thoughts anyone
Hi James! What's complicated about the question? It is exactly what it is. It is like a tradition in my country where during Holy Week, people who probably feel they have committed grave sins, do these things as their way of showing repentance. The reason I ask is that I hope these people will be able to read your answers based on Bible scriptures. Of course I know it's wrong, but these people, supposedly "believers with strong faith", don't know that it's wrong. In fact, the Catholic church doesn't condemn them from doing so. Flagellation even begins right in front of the church and they walk thru town, faces covered, whipping their bloody backs and it ends at a river where they wash off. Crucifixion too, it is done in front of crowds who watch while these penitent individuals get crucified. And I didn't mention the one's who rolled over broken glass on the streets or those who carried heavy wooden crosses thru town. Things like these make me want to change my religion.
Important to note: Not every Catholic practices or understands their faith.
A few devout Filipinos offer themselves to be nailed to crosses on Good Friday is an extreme display of devotion that the Catholic church looks down upon as a form of folk religion but appears powerless to stop. The practice, which started about 60 years ago as form of religious vow by poor people seeking forgiveness, a cure for illness and the fulfillment of other wishes.
Archbishop Paciano Aniceto said the gory practice was a distortion of Christ's teachings of love and selfless service. But he conceded that the church could not stop the ritual that he described as "popular piety". We must carefully distinguish between what the Church says and what the people do.
I don't know about the church not being able to make them stop. They can if they want to. They can issue an order to all parishes that the church considers these practices blasphemous. The only reason I see why even the state won't stop these practices is because it attracts tourism. This is what I call bad tradition and it should be stopped. The church should not turn a blind eye on this and label it as piety. How could inflicting pain on the temple of the Holy Spirit be a virtue?
I agree with you, Bernadette. We can make these people stop getting nailed on crosses if we want to. The bishops already gave their statements to stop these practices - it is up to us, lay people, to enforce it. This is bad tradition and we should stop these people from doing it, even if the government won't help us. As far as I know, the government has stopped listening to the Church (RH bill getting passed into law, Divorce bill is next to be debated). You and me are members of the church, and we should not turn a blind eye on these issues.