Karamihan ng mga nagpapapako at nagsasagawa ng matitinding penitensiya ay ginagawa ito bilang paraan ng pasasalamat sa Diyos sa mga biyayang natanggap, ayon sa dating pinuno ng Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Partikular na tinukoy ni retired Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz ang mga indibidwal na nakausap niya nang siya ay arsobispo pa ng Pampanga ilang taon na ang nakalipas.
“I’ve come to talk to some people who are doing this, even the one who have himself crucified every Good Friday in Pampanga, and the usual answer I got was it has become their resolved (panata) to do it because they asked God for a favor. Since they got what they were asking, they were fulfilling their promise,” wika niya sa isang panayam.
“It’s like this: Dear God, if you give me this, I’ll do this penance as a sign of thanksgiving,” dagdag ni Cruz.
Sinabi niya na nakausap niya ang 10 hanggang 20 nagpipenitensiya at haos pareho ang paliwanag ng mga ito.
Naniniwala si Cruz na pareho rin ito sa mga sumasali sa taunang prusisyon ng Itim na Nazareno sa Quiapo, Manila.
“The Church teaches that there is no need for us to carry the cross, whip ourselves, or be crucified because Christ already did that for us,” aniya.
“While these practices are not encouraged much less approved by the church, I understand these individuls because they want to keep their promise to God,” dagdag ng mataas na opisyal ng simbahan. (Leslie Ann Aquino)