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:
- Jesus is condemned to death
- Jesus is given his cross
- Jesus falls the first time
- Jesus meets His Mother
- Simon of Cyrene carries the cross
- Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
- Jesus falls the second time
- Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem
- Jesus falls the third time
- Jesus is stripped of His garments
- Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross
- Jesus dies on the cross
- Jesus' body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)
- 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.
Original Link at: http://www.cbcpnews.net/?q=node%2F15234