Tag Archives: Holy Week

Man Nailed On The Cross: Proof Of Separation Of Church And State In The Philippines

Ruben Enaje had allowed himself to be nailed to a cross every Good Friday since 1985 as an act of thanksgiving for surviving a fall. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS / CONTRIBUTOR
Enaje (Photo credit: .E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS)

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Once again, on Good Friday, March 25, Filipino Ruben Enaje will allow himself to be nailed — literally — to a wooden cross as part of a bizarre Lenten rite.  This is his 30th time being “crucified,”  something he started doing in 1985 as an act of thanksgiving for surviving a fall.

Several other male penitents have also made this ritual an annual undertaking, along with dozens of others who participate in a different penitence of self flagellation.

This Holy Week tradition is  proof that in the Philippines, there is truly a separation of Church and State.

The Roman Catholic Church, short of condemning the practice, has discouraged Filipinos from imitating Jesus’ nailing on the cross.

In contrast, the state — in particular the Department of Health — is hands off in discouraging this fanatical religious practice.  Instead, it has issued yet another reminder for those who choose to be nailed to the cross this year to take tetanus shots and to make sure the nails used are properly sterilized.





File photo: Philippine bishops with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
File photo: Philippine bishops with former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo

Baguio City, Philippines – This week, the Supreme Court of the Philippines ruled that the controversial Reproductive Health Bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President NoyNoy Aquino is constitutional.

Meeting in Baguio City, the Philippine summer capital, the justices unanimously agreed to let stand most of the new law which provides for the distribution of condoms and other birth control devices in government clinics as well as sex education in schools.

Immediately after the announcement of the high court’s decision, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) declared a nationwide strike. The Philippine bishops have been against the measure from the beginning, often using the pulpit to encourage the Catholic faithful to oppose the bill, now law.

The nationwide strike comes at a crucial time as Filipinos approach the conclusion of the Lenten season, leading up to Easter Sunday.

A CBCP spokesperson said that effective immediately, all priests and bishops will refrain from saying mass or administering the sacraments in all churches and parishes in the country.

The strike is expected to paralyze this predominantly Catholic country of almost 100 Million people.

CBCP declined to say whether or  not the strike had the imprimatur of Pope Francis.