Source: Fr. Chito Dimaranan
This is pastoral leadership sorely missing where it is needed most at this time. I have been saying all these years that the "devotion" to the Santo Nino will go the way of all misguided "popular devotions" that border more on the fanatical and the ridiculous.
Some of the statues that I see have nothing remotely related to the mystery of the Son of God becoming man, and assuming the humility and simplicity of a child in the Santo Nino image.
Increasingly, I see differing versions of the Santo Nino de la Suerte, Santo Nino de la Bolsa, Santo Nino holding a teddy bear, Santo Nino garbed in the color of money, or Santo Nino de Palaboy, holding a walking stick.
I love the mystery of God-become-man in Christ, including his image as a humble - if, helpless child.
But I think misguided shallow popular religiosity needs to be purified of the steadily encroaching showbiz culture, for one, and the pagan culture of "suerte" or luck, to name just two.
Will our Church leaders just ignore this? All it does is add more fuel to the fire of the other misguided criticism that "Catholics" practice idolatry - something that, assuredly, had never been part of Catholic teaching and tradition.
Oh, in case you are tempted to give me that traditional argument that popular religiosity has its "merits," please refrain from doing so, because I believe in it. But I also believe that if kept unguided and untaught, it is bound to ridiculous excesses and gross exaggerations.
Viva Senor Santo Nino! (But please don't give me the likes of that outrageous one holding a teddy bear and sporting oh-so-childish-and-cuddly apparel - and that one made to look like "Wonder Woman!"