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Church urges other ways of atonement as penitents once again get beaten, dragged

The Catholic Church urged penitents to resort to other ways of atoning for their sins after several Catillejos, Zambales devotees were once again beaten and dragged along the streets during this year's Holy Week.

According to Mariz Umali’s “24 Oras Weekend” report on Saturday, this type of "panata" or religious vow was first reported in Subic, Zambales in 2022.

While the police condemned the violent practice, they could not stop the devotees.

“Panawagan po sa ating mga namemenitensya: huwag po nating gawing karahasan ang nasabing penitensiya,” Police Major Michael Udal, chief of the Castillejos Police Station, said.

(We call on our penitents not to turn their vows into something violent.)

Meanwhile, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) encouraged the Filipino faithful to instead confess their sins and refrain from committing sins.

The violent acts saddened the Church, which reminded followers that there were many forms of penance, including fasting.

“We have to remember that our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. ‘Yung ginawa ni Hesus sa pagpapakasakit ay sapat na para patawarin tayo sa ating mga kasalanan at tubusin tayo sa pagkakasala, at ipagkaloob sa atin ang buhay na walang hanggan,” CBCP spokesperson Fr. Jerome Secillano said.

(What Jesus did in suffering is enough to forgive our sins, redeem us from guilt, and grant us eternal life.) — Richa Noriega/DVM, GMA Integrated News