Friday, April 6, 2012

Lenten Gory Rituals, A Cultural Tradition or a Sign of Arrogance and Ignorance?

By Gilbert M. Forbes

Through the years, the highly secular and the non-practicing Catholic Christians or Catholic Christians as an appropriate tag for them (other Christian fundamentalists and denominations don’t consider Catholics Christians) draw themselves on a holiday sprees instead of Holy Day reflections, retreats and family spiritual bonding, others poised themselves on Lenten gory rituals as yahoonews has described.

Photo by Romeo Ranoco of Reuters from yahoo news.
The church has consistently reminded the faithful that these kinds of acts are not necessary.  Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, spokesman for the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said the Church has discouraged the practices, describing them as "inappropriate".  Inappropriate for in the church perspective, it is not in accordance with the Holy Scriptures.

"What happens here is that we want God to grant us what we wish for," Quitorio told Reuters, saying it is enough for true Catholics to pray, fast and give alms during the Lenten season.

Melvin Pangilinan, an organiser of the annual Lenten ritual who carriede cross in his younger days, told Reuters. "But, it has been our tradition for decades and we have to honour it."  Carlito Santos, a pastor at a local Methodist Church, said the practice cannot be easily relinquished as it has already been embedded in the local culture.

But should we continuously follow a cultural tradition when the higher spiritual authorities has consistently been reminding us that it is no longer necessary?  When even the Hoy Scriptures say it other wise?  Or our difficulty of following emanates from our being hard headed  or arrogant and total ignorance of the Holy Scriptures—a result of our folk Christianity.

These practices actually is damaging to faithful and practicing Catholics for they are often accused of being pagans by their fundamental Christian counterparts.  Much on the part of the Church who has been consistently losing their members in favor of their separated brethrens.  This only strengthens division instead of healing.  At the outset, these separated brethren whom since separation has not listened to Catholic teachings many thought that the church encourages and support these practices.

The sad thing about it is that it is also creating a bad impression among the youth that it is alright to disobey our religious leaders as long as it is done in our own free will without the understanding that doing ones free will has its limitations.

You may also like reading:

Lessons of the Dead 

Christmas: Why It Could Doesn't Make Sense Anymore 

Holiday Sickness: When Fun Turns Into a Disease 
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