Thursday, April 14, 2011

Politics & Lent: The 13th Station of the Cross "Choose Li[f]e, Reject the RH Bill"?

I was quite astonished to have read this online article published by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in their official website. I came across this article just this morning and was wondering why the Reproductive Health Bill became one of the Stations of the Cross? 
The Stations of the Cross (otherwise known as Way of the Cross "Via Crucis" or Way of Sorrows "Via Dolorosa") refers to the final hours Jesus Christ. the Christian Messiah, and the commemoration of his passion. The tradition began as a chapel devotion with St. Francis of Assisi latter extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church during the Medieval Period. But in Anglican & Lutheran Churches it is not often observed. It is commonly done in the Season of Lent and usually on Good Friday. 

The Stations themselves are usually a series of fourteen (14) pictures, images or sculptures depicting the following scenes: 

  1. Jesus is condemned to death
  2. Jesus is given his cross
  3. Jesus falls the first time
  4. Jesus meets His Mother
  5. Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
  6. Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
  7. Jesus falls the second time
  8. Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
  9. Jesus falls the third time
  10. Jesus is stripped of His garments
  11. Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
  12. Jesus dies on the cross
  13. Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
  14. Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.
Although not traditionally part of the Stations, the Resurrection of Jesus is sometimes included as a fifteenth station.

Now looking at the BECs of St. John Baptist Parish "new form" of the Stations of the Cross or as they dubbed as "Krus ng Buhay" it seemed that they want to join the bandwagon and make themselves being talked about as their Stations of the Cross are so politically inclined with the theme "Choose Li[f]e, Reject the RH Bill". They are so over-dignifying their stance on the bill that they can change all their traditions and practices just to insert this.

With the obvious changing of the 13th Station of the Cross to that one-liner ad of the Anti-RH camp, their so-called Station of the Cross is not that solemn after all. The other parts of their "solemn" responses to their Readings are also very politically motivated and thus speaks of their stand as against the Reproductive Health Bill.

Shouldn't be that the objective of the Stations is to help the Catholic faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death? Why then shift to inject or include a very secularized discussion of legislation? I would like to join the Stations of the Cross to give pilgrimage to the sufferings of Christ, and not to hear about the RH Bill. Haven't they been contented of having to insert or openly declare people of their opposition in their pulpits? 

This is for me one of their futile and desperate attempts to enforce their opinion towards their Catholic members (of whom some are rational beings able to decide for themselves). Even at such a time like this, they will not waive, so that in any way possible they can interject their opposition to the bill.

I wouldn't be surprised if the Rosary's 'mysteries' will have an additional one which will be called "Choose Li[f]e, Reject the RH Bill" Mystery and will be recited by all Catholics in the country too.

Attached is the original article which I got from CBCP's news website.  


Parish BECs stage human cross against RH Bill

TAYTAY, Rizal, APRIL 12, 2011―The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) of St. John the Baptist Parish staged their annual Lenten Station of the Cross in a new form as a way of battling the culture of death espoused by the controversial RH Bill now pending in Congress.
Dubbed as “Krus ng Buhay,” the fourteen Stations correspond to specific moral values as the Christian response to issues confronting the people as individuals, as a family, as a nation and as a Church, both in religious and secular perspective.
At 3 p.m.on April 8, BEC’s from four barrios and sitios simultaneously started the yearly traditional activity from first to tenth Stations and converged at the town’s Kalayaan Park for the eleventh Station.
The group proceeded up to the fourteenth station marching along the main road while silently carrying placards that voiced out concerns on morality, human dignity and sanctity of life, family and marriage.
Devotees carried two significant images—Our Lady of Guadalupe and a big wooden cross.
The Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patroness of the Philippines and the unborn children. She was venerated in the eleventh station as the “Mother of Life who cares for us from womb to tomb.”
The big wooden cross in the fourteenth station was made more profound when around 800 penitents formed a huge “human cross” as they “professed their baptismal vow as missionary Catholics, and that Christ died to give us Life.”
Readings were modified according to the context of concrete reality of our daily life. The prayerful response in the first Station, for example, was “sharing oneself to others as expression of Eucharistic love.” The twelfth Station reiterated “life as God’s gift that no man or government must rip asunder.” The thirteenth called to “choose Life, reject the RH Bill.”
Parish priest Msgr. Peter Cañonero joined the “human cross” in front of the main entrance of the church, while blessing and sprinkling the people with holy water. The activity concluded with the regular 6:00 p.m. celebration of the holy mass.
The BECs of St. John the Baptist have taken to heart the worldwide call of Pope Benedict XVI for the protection of the sanctity of life. On November 27, 2010, the eve of Advent season, the parishioners held a rosary-prayer vigil “to invoke divine protection on every human being called into existence, and to thank God for the gift of life we received from our parents.”
Since then, the parish BECs had campaigned for rosary-vigil with intention of protecting the unborn.
Looking forward to forming a ‘giant living Rosary’ in October, the BEC leaders said, “may this Lenten ‘Human Cross’ be the crucifix of what we still have to labor―to form the ‘giant living Rosary’ beads which we envision as our spiritual weapon against the culture of death that is RH Bill, this October month of the Holy Rosary.” (Rufo Fernandez)

1 comment:

  1. I feel very sorry for catholic like me. The Church leaders are selfish. Every night, I'm praying that may the Lord decide now to punish those people who uses HIS name to manipulate catholic rights.