Not political: Catholic priest explains why churches, priests are donning red

November 24, 2021 - 2:46 PM
Red Wednesday in Baclaran Church
The facade of the National Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help in Parañaque City is bathed in red light during the observance of Red Wednesday on Nov. 25, 2020. (Photo from Baclaran Church via CBCP News)

A Catholic priest shared that people may see the clergy wearing red and places of worship bathed in the same hue on Wednesday due to the global campaign that honors persecuted Christians.

Priest and TikTok content creator Fr. Fiel Pareja on Tuesday said that the color is not in any way related to politics, especially as the 2022 elections draw near.

This is because some aspirants also use color in their campaigns and sorties as part of their branding, particularly presidential aspirant former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his family.

“Unahan na po namin kayo. Taunang RED WEDNESDAY po ng simbahan bukas! Magsusuot kami ng red at magpapailaw ng red sa mga simbahan. Walang kinalaman ang mga politikong red ang kulay,” Pareja wrote on Twitter.

“Pula, simbolo ng dugo ng mga Kristiyanong pinaslang, hindi ng pumaslang! #RedWednesday2021,” he added.

Palanca awardee Jerry Gracio, who is the first nominee of the  Kapamilya ng Manggagawang Pilipino party-list in the upcoming elections, retweeted the priest’s post with a comment.

“Ninakaw n’yo na ang pula sa mga aktibista, baka naman nakawin n’yo pa ang pula para sa mga martir na Kristiyano,” he wrote, backing up Pareja’s tweet.

Some Filipinos who saw the priest’s post thanked him for offering a clarification in advance.

“I heard this din po ke Fr. Douglas Badong, as a reminder. Baka i-claim ng iba, thanks Father,” a Twitter user commented.

Others also raised awareness of the Gaudete and Laetare Sundays wherein the clergy can be seen wearing pink or rose-colored vestments.

“Thanks po, Father. It also doesn’t mean that on December 12 and March 27 next year, the Catholic church clergy supports a candidate for wearing rose (or pink) vestments. Those days are Gaudete and Laetare Sundays,” another online user wrote.

Supporters of presidential aspirants are using various colors to promote their bets.

Pink is being used for presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo. Blue, on the other hand, is being used by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Meanwhile, the “Red Wednesday” is a campaign initiated by the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), an international pastoral aid organization of the Catholic Church that dedicates itself to helping repressed and persecuted Christians.

It was initially launched by the organization in November 2016 in the United Kingdom to promote religious freedom and to stand in solidarity with those persecuted by their faith.

In Christianity, the color red symbolizes martyrdom and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

The “Red Wednesday” campaign specifically recognizes Catholics who cannot fully profess and practice their religion in their areas.

The Philippines began to participate in the campaign in 2017 under the endorsement of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, where cathedrals, similar places of worship and Catholic universities were illuminated red.

The country is among those in Asia which predominantly practices Christianity.

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