Catholics Nailed to Crosses in Philippines
Church opposes Good Friday ritual
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 29, 2013 7:34 AM CDT
A Filipino penitent is nailed to a wooden cross as actors wait behind him during Good Friday rituals at Cutud, Pampanga province, northern Philippines, on March 29, 2013.   (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(Newser) – Northern Philippines villagers commemorated Good Friday in their traditional manner, with penitents whipping themselves before some two dozen were nailed to crosses, reports Reuters. Thousands of tourists were on hand to watch and photograph the scene. A local sign painter, 52, has now performed the ritual 27 times; his screams were projected through loudspeakers, the AP reports. He stayed on the cross in the heat for minutes; then the three-inch nails were removed and he was taken to a first-aid area.

"It's intriguing and fascinating what makes people do something like this, how you can believe so much that you make yourself suffer to that extent," said a tourist. The sign painter, Ruben Enaje, began taking part after he survived falling off a building. Another man said he participated "for good luck and for my family to be healthy." But the Catholic Church opposes the tradition. It's "not the desire of Jesus Christ," says an archbishop. "We should all concentrate on prayers."

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