Spare Ash Wednesday services from politics, bets told

Spare Ash Wednesday services from politics, bets told

By Roy Lagarde

March 5, 2019

Manila, Philippines

A Catholic priest appealed to those running in the midterm elections not to use Ash Wednesday services for campaigning.

Fr. Edwin Gariguez of the National Secretariat for Social Action (Nassa) said it is not surprising that politicians may want to use the event to gain publicity.

“In such a case, you are not being true to the practice. It is considered hypocrisy,” he said.

He stressed that getting ashes on the forehead is not an ordinary activity that politicians could ride on to.

Lent, according to him, is a solemn season of sacrifice and wherein Christians are expected to deepen their intimacy with Christ.

“You are reminded that everything on Earth is temporary and that you are accountable to God in everything you do,” Gariguez said.

“You will return to ashes. No matter how rich and powerful you are, you will still return to ashes,” he added.

For Christians, Ash Wednesday marks the start of the Lenten season, which according to church leaders, is a time for fasting, reflection and spiritual renewal.

With the words “remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return” or “Repent, and believe in the Gospel,” a black smudge of ash is placed upon the foreheads of Catholics.