MANILA, Jan. 10, 2014— A Catholic archbishop is calling for renewal of discipline among devotees following yesterday’s raucous procession of the Black Nazarene image.
Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Jaro said injuries during the procession could have been prevented if only the devotees showed discipline as other believers exuded.
“More people could come near the Black Nazarene if the people were disciplined. As it is, people were pushing each other. That is not genuine religion. It can be improved,” Lagdameo said
More than 10 million joined the grueling procession around Manila which took 19-hours before the image finally returned to its home in Quiapo Church.
Authorities said the religious event was generally peaceful with no deaths and major injuries reported.
The Philippine National Red Cross said it assisted 854 devotees and 12 of whom were brought to the hospital.
The most risky incident, observers believe, was perhaps the near-stampede that disrupted the Mass presided by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle at the Quirino Grandstand as devotees rushed to touch the image and its crown fell from its head.
Two other bishops emphasized the need for proper formation and for the faith of devotees to be purified.
“Our devotees should be continuously catechized. Their faith should be deepened and enriched,” Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco said.
“It calls for faith formation for these devotees,” said retired Bishop Deogracias Iniguez of Kalookan. (CBCPNews)