Get crucified, win the lottery
THE Catholic Church in the Philippines got the hump yesterday when around two dozen Filipinos got themselves nailed to crosses to re-enact the passion for all the “wrong” reasons.
The Church condemned the crucifixions as “self-serving”, as they were done to seek something from God, and “corrupt the message of Christ’s suffering for others”.
One of the participants in the gory Good Friday ritual – which annually draws thousands of spectators to San Fernando, 80 km (50 miles) north of Manila – was Alex Laranang, an illiterate 55-year-old food vendor, who said, before two 5-inch nails were driven into his hands:
I hope the Lord will grant my wish to make me win big in ‘jueteng’ this year.
Jueteng is a popular illegal lottery in the Philippines, and Laranang, a father of five, said he had won 3,000 thousand pesos ($70) twice in the five years he had himself crucified on a cross.
Angel Lagdameo, former head of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and archbishop in the central city of Jaro, said:
There’s only one crucifixion that saved mankind.
And Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, spokesman for Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, added:
For us, it is enough for Catholics to observe the church activities from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday and comply with the discipline of Lent.
More than 80 percent of the Philippines population are Catholic.