MANILA — Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales has appealed to the Catholic faithful not to make a picnic out of the pilgrimage activities during the Holy Week.
In an interview, the former head of the Archdiocese of Manila said making the pilgrimage as a “vacation activity” is not right and has to be corrected.
“That is wrong… that has to be corrected, that is an abuse of a holy thing. There are some doing it just to stroll,” he said.
The retired Catholic prelate noted that the usual pilgrims are headed by a priest, who will lead them to pray, the praying of Liturgy of Word and Homily while others are leading the Stations of the Cross.
“People should not abuse it, taking advantage of it by saying it is pilgrimage but the real purpose is to walk around,” Rosales said.
On the other hand, Fr. Carmelo Arada, Assistance Director, Liturgical Commission of the Archdiocese of Manila, said that the faithful will gain plenary indulgence by doing the usual Catholic practices during the Lenten Season.
“The practices we Catholics do during Lent, like the Visita Iglesia, processions, there will be plenary indulgence when you participate in the celebration devoutly in prayer, in sacrifice, praying for the intentions of the Holy Father, you gain a plenary indulgence,” he explained.
Asked if the plenary indulgence is applicable to those who will pray via the virtual Visita Iglesia on the internet, he said, “I don’t know, but it they will do it in the spirit of prayer…because going to Churches is not really about the walking… it’s about the praying and making a sacrifice… especially those who are sick at home, it can be their way in joining the Christian community in praying during the Holy Week.”
He noted that the Visita Iglesia is not the time for praying the stations of the cross as the stations of the cross should be prayed on Good Friday and Fridays of Lent.
Arada added, “During Holy Thursday, especially in the evening, we commemorate the evening mass of the Lord’s supper, meaning we commemorate the institution of the Eucharist. The institution of the Eucharist, we can only find its meaning when we look at the cross. It’s like a ritual anticipation of what will happen in the cross. It is where Jesus offered His body and blood for the salvation of all. In that spirit, we go to churches and remember that the real meaning of Holy Week is Jesus died for us, out of love for us.”