CATHOLIC CHURCH DISCOURAGES CRUCIFIXIONS

Manila, April 18, 2003 (Bulletin) -- The Catholic Church discourages 
crucifixion as a way of penance.

Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) spokesman Hernando 
Coronel yesterday explained that the Catholic faithful can show their unity 
in Christ's death without "hurting" their own body.

He suggested that the faithful should instead go to the church, confess 
their sins and reflect on the passion and death of Christ.

A person has to take care of his or her own body because it's the temple of 
one's soul. If they want to imitate Christ they can do this by turning away 
from sin and doing good deeds," he said.

Bishop Ramon Arguelles, of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care 
of Migrants and Itinerant people (CBCP-ECMI), called the mutilation of the 
body a pagan practice that has entered into the Christian faith.

Today, in the observance of Good Friday, churchgoers are encouraged to go 
to Manila Basilica (formerly Manila Cathedral) at 12 noon, to hear the 
Seven Last Words of Jesus to be led by the newly ordained deacons of the 
Archdiocese of Manila.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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