Back to Index

RELIGION: Good Friday--Viernes Santo. The Philippines

Edith Coliver, a specialist on the Philippines, writes: "In one crucifixion in the Philippines, in San Fernando, a young man had himself crucified regularly. He was the offspring of an American-Filipina union who had never found his American father. His crucifixion was to attract his father's attention to him. I don't know whether he ever did. [The father was a cad. RH].

There is another Filipino custom, the Moriones, on the island of Marinduque in the central Philippines, where flagellants would regularly beat themselves all night on Easter, and one could hear them. The Moriones were Filipinos, clad in costumes of one-eyed Roman centurions. Legend has it that Jesus' blood, from where he was lanced, dripped on the eye of a one-eyed centurion and cured him. `[Love thine enemy.RH] People who have something to atone for either dress as Moriones or flagellate themselves. I have witnessed this gruesome ceremony.

The crucifixion was also the cause for the denunciation throughout the ages of Jews as Christ-killers, a notion that caused the death of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. In dialogues with the Pope, a delegation of Jewish leaders and theologians convinced him and the Church that crucifixion was not a method of Jewish execution. That accusation was removed from Catholic texts and will, it is hoped, clarify Jewish/Catholic relations".

My comment: Indeed, it was the Romans who crucified people. They crucified hundreds after the slave revolt of Spartacus, who has become a hero for the modern left. The Jews stoned people. I accept miracles only in a symbolic sense, and some are frauds. This Easter much was made of an alleged shroud of Christ in Oviedo, Spain, similar to the Shroud of Turin.

I believe in one miracle: the miracle of the Eudora spell check. It has failed on my last two computers, and all the computer skill of Stanford failed to get it to work. Two days ago, my assistant, who was working on a printer problem, reset the printer adjustments in the computer without doing anything to Eudora. The spell check miraculously reappeared, no one know why. Clearly my assistant can work miracles unintentionally. English spelling needs to be exorcised.

Ronald Hilton - 4/14/01