‘Fast, give alms to the needy’

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma advised against crucifixion and other extreme forms of penitence.

In a press conference last Tuesday, Palma reminded the faithful that there are simpler ways to express one's faith during Holy Week, such as fasting, abstinence and giving alms to the poor.

Palma gave the reminder after learning that Gilbert Bargayo plans to have himself nailed on the cross in Tuburan town on Good Friday.

This would be the 19th crucifixion of Bargayo.

“As a general rule, gi-discourage man gyud sa simbahan kining literal nga interpretation nato sa pagsunod sa mga kasakit sa atong Ginoo (the church discourages the literal interpretation of Jesus’ suffering). Ang pagsunod ni Jesus ug iyang kasakit is (His sufferings are) enough to redeem us and to be the basis of our salvation,” Palma said.

While Palma does not want to condemn penitents like Bargayo as “everyone has their own individual intentions,” he said that such practice is discouraged because of some considerations, such as the safety of the participants.

Instead of painful and potentially harmful practices, Catholics can observe fasting and abstinence.

“Fasting is a reminder that we need discipline. If we don't realize that we need to discipline ourselves, then there is no growth,” Palma said.

During Good Friday last year, 53-year-old Bargayo had himself nailed on the cross in Barangay Duljo-Fatima, Cebu City to raise funds for the construction of a chapel in the village.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 17, 2014.

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