Lent about following Jesus, not torture—bishop

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MANILA, Feb. 19, 2015—For a member of the country’s Church hierarchy, inflicting pain on oneself or on others is not the right way to show remorse for sins, stressing Lent is more about living out the Good News and following Christ.

The faithful fill the newly-renovated Manila Cathedral during Holy Week 2014. (Photo: CBCPNews)

While penance in the form of fasting and abstinence is required of all able Catholics during this season, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo shared the Church frowns upon folk practices like flagellation, as well as the staged crucifixions in Pampanga and Bulacan on Good Friday each year.

In a recent interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas, the prelate, who also chairs the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs (PCPA), stressed these things should not be used especially as a way to boost tourism, trivializing and commodifying Lent in the process.

“Lent is all about contrition, conversion, and charity,” he explained.

According to him, Lenten penance and mortification are only true in so far as the person doing these commits himself to changing his ways for the best, not just for one day, but permanently.

Pabillo added the imitation of Christ does not literally mean having to re-enact the crucifixion, but rather in conforming oneself to the will of the Lord. (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)

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