Thousands Retrace Steps Of Christ; Pope Hears Confessions With PM-Philippines-Crucifixion
JERUSALEM (AP) _ Christians from around the world walked the Way of Sorrow on Good Friday, some lugging heavy wooden crosses as they traced Jesus Christ’s steps toward his crucifixion.
Thousands made their way along the narrow street to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, built where Christians believe Jesus was buried after being crucified.
In another Good Friday tradition, Pope John Paul II heard confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican picked 12 people from seven countries to be confessors.
Israel’s sealing off of the occupied territories last week to quell Arab- Israeli violence meant only a few hundred Palestinian Christians with special permits took part in Friday’s procession in Jerusalem.
″I will not live my life in fear and not do things because of that,″ said Tonya Andrews of North Hollywood, Calif. ″I’m a Christian ... so this goes straight to the soul.″
Sydney Reynolds of Orem, Utah, said she brought her children to strengthen their faith.
″We believe that Christ has died for us and will rise, and we wanted them to learn that these things are true and more important than anything else,″ said Mrs. Reynolds, 55, while taking a rest near the Third Station where tradition says Christ fell under the weight of the cross.
Gilbert Peru of Anaheim, Calif., re-enacted the march dressed as Christ. Wearing a crown of thorns, his arms covered with fake blood, he was accompanied by two whip-carrying ″Roman soldiers.″
Among the worshipers were several hundred Christians from the occupied West Bank who said it took them a week to receive a special entry permit for the ritual.
″I feel upset about the closure because it’s our right (to be here),″ said Iyad Shraiga, 20, from the West Bank town of Nablus, as he walked in the crowd.