Skip to comments.Penitents nailed to crosses, whipped in Philippines religious spectacle
Posted on 04/22/2011 5:47:32 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
More than a dozen people have been nailed to crosses in the Philippines in front of thousands of tourists in a controversial annual event to mark Good Friday.
Hundreds more people had their backs whipped until they bled during the grisly religious spectacle re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the town of Cutud, north of Manila.
The event, held annually despite the disapproval of church leaders in Asia's largest Catholic outpost, saw participants flagellated as they marched to a series of crucifixion sites, AFP said.
Some participants said they wanted to prove their faith by taking part in the event. Others hoped for success in the jueteng, a popular illegal lottery in the Philippines.
"I hope the Lord will grant my wish to make me win big in jueteng this year," food vendor Alex Laranang, 55, told Reuters as two 5-inch nails were driven into his hands.
Construction worker Roli Pantoja, performing his sixth crucifixion, told the news agency: "I feel very fresh, like a new-born baby. I can't feel any pain."
Rolando Tirona, the bishop of Manila, criticized the event, saying it has lost touch with the Church and "verges towards fundamentalism."
"It's become commercialized and priests in the area have been helpless to stop the crucifixions," he told the Jakarta Globe.
Those taking part were unapologetic.
"If they only respected our panata (sacred vows). This comes from the depths of our heart. We are not showing these off, we have our own beliefs," Ruben Enaje told AFP before being nailed to the cross for the 25th year in a row.
Good Friday crucifixions in Philippines
Devotees re-enacted Jesus’s crucifixion in gory scenes while millions of other less extreme faithful across the Catholic Philippines prayed with their families on Good Friday.
A handful of people are traditionally nailed to crosses while hundreds more have their backs whipped until they bleed in Asia’s major Catholic outpost, to remember the day when Christians believe Jesus Christ died 2,000 years ago.
In the small farming town of Cutud, a couple of hours’ drive north of Manila, thousands of tourists gathered to watch what has over the years become the biggest and bloodiest Good Friday spectacle.
Fourteen people were nailed to crosses and hundreds were whipped as they walked through the town, their blood splattering onto the ground and walls of buildings.
The most senior of those nailed to a cross, Ruben Enaje, 50, said he was going through the ordeal this year for the 25th time as a way of giving thanks to God for allowing him to survive an accident unscathed.
“I will do this for as long as I can endure it,” Enaje told reporters.
Enaje, playing the part of Jesus, was led by villagers dressed as Roman centurions to a hill on the outskirts of town.
Nails were driven through Enaje’s palms and he hung on the cross for 10 minutes while grimacing in pain, before being taken down so that the others could take their turns.
The Catholic Church has discouraged the practice and criticised the organisers of the Cutud event for commercialising Good Friday in an effort to attract tourists, but the “penitentes” were unapologetic.
“If they only respected our panata (sacred vows). This comes from the depths of our heart. We are not showing these off, we have our own beliefs,” Enaje said before he was nailed to cross.
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Catholicism at its best or worse...it matters not. Just another......FDSRSOTW!
As long was the rest of us are clear that they are really messed up beliefs.
I can imagine Jesus thinking “been there, done that”. What these people are doing are blasphemous. It makes a mockery of Jesus’ finished work.
certain things you probably shouldn’t do on good friday
like going to google images and typing ‘nun whip’
i was thinking catholic school... not exactly what i ran into
FWIW, the Church is strongly opposed to this, but people do it anyway.
At least I hope that's what they're doing.