LOOK: Boy practices self-flagellation during Holy Week

Photos of a boy who was spotted practicing self-flagellation during the Holy Week has gone viral online and sparked debate among netizens.


The Facebook page of Rakista Radio re-posted the pictures taken by a certain Airish Rivera last year. It garnered more than 18,000 likes and over 6,600 shares as of 9 a.m. today.

In it, the back of a very young flagellant can be seen bloodied as a result of mortifying his own self as he tried to imitate the passion of Christ prior to the crucifixion.

[REPOST] NUNG UNA AKALA KO BLUFF LANG, PAG LAPIT NAMEN HINDI KINAYA NG BONE CELLS KO ITONG BATA NA TO. GRABE. SOLID -...

Posted by RAKISTA on Monday, April 21, 2014

The disturbing photos drew criticisms from netizens, most of whom called the attention of the officials of the Catholic Church and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and urged them to take action to stop the practice.

Self-flagellation, the practice of mortification of the flesh for religious purposes, is common in the Philippines. Filipino flagellants usually do it as a panata (vow) if they want to get cured of or are already healed from an illness.

Prior to this year's Holy Week, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) media affairs chair and Bishop of Caloocan Deogracias Iniguez Jr. reminded the faithful not to engage in self-flagellation and crucifixion in honoring the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as such activities are "against the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church."

"When the Church said we should empathize with the sufferings of our Lord, it did not mean we should experience exactly how Christ suffered," the prelate explained. "Hurting oneself, according to Church doctrines, is wrong. And it can be considered a sin if you do it knowing it’s not right."

Such acts, according to the CBCP, are considered as "superstitious" and "not an authentic expression of faith."