Catholic wrestlers required to wipe off ashes

Catholic wrestlers required to wipe off ashes

“Catholic Wrestlers Forced to Remove Ash Crosses”

Des Moines, Iowa (AP) - Catholic high school wrestlers will have to remove ashes from their forehead when the state wrestling tournament begins Wednesday.

The start of this year’s competition falls on Ash Wednesday. Catholics typically apply ash crosses on their foreheads in observance of the first day of Lent.

But Iowa High School Athletic Association officials banned the practice for wrestlers when they hit the mat, saying the ash could get into an opponent’s eyes or mouths.

``There’s no disrespect to Catholicism,’’ said Bud Legg, an athletic association spokesman who also is Catholic.

The local priest says that the ashes are optional for Catholics—which they are—and while he’s not happy about the rule, this isn’t a big enough deal to make a stink about it. I think he’s right.

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