April 15, 2006
A British broadcaster who travelled to the Philippines to be crucified on Good Friday for a television programme pulled out of the stunt in tears yesterday — and blamed God for his decision.
Dominik Diamond broke down and wept after watching nine Filipinos take their turn to be whipped and nailed on crosses and realising that his turn was next. “God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross,” he sobbed, sinking to his knees and praying as local people and tourists started to boo.
… Diamond was set to join an elite group of radical Roman Catholics who mark each Easter by re-enacting the Crucifixion. Thousands of people gather to watch the volunteers nailed to crosses with metal spikes the size of pencils.
Negotiations had taken place to bestow on Diamond the privilege of becoming only the second Westerner to take part in the event, known as Karabrio. The ceremony is held in the village of Cutud, 50 miles (80km) north of Manila. Men dress in white robes and flagellate themselves with glass-tipped paddles and bamboo whips, in penitence for their sins.
… After pulling out of the challenge, Diamond said: “At no point was it ever conveyed that I would definitely be crucified. At all times in this journey I have been guided by my God in ways I could never have predicted. Having experienced the humility of bearing my own cross through the streets, I felt my God wanted me only to pray at the foot of my cross.”
… [Executive produce Ed] Stobbart conceded that the programme’s name, Crucify Me, may no longer be appropriate. “Let’s just say the title is subject to discussion. Read between the lines,” he said.
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