MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Thursday reiterated that priests should not use their religious authority in the church as a platform to criticize his administration.
In his speech at the proclamation and kick-off rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, Duterte said priests should protest as Filipinos and not as church leaders as he cited the separation of Church and State.
“There is what you would call a separation of Church and State. Hindi kami nag-aatake ng pari using the platform of government (We don’t attack priests using government platform). Ang pari hindi dapat gamitin itong pulpito niya na mag-atake sa amin sa gobyerno. Dapat ang pari pumunta doon sa labas (Priests should not use their pulpits to attack us in government. Priests should go out of their pulpits when criticizing),” he said.
The President said many priests are involved in graft and corruption.
“Tapos sabihin mo ‘yung mga obispo na… Maghingi sa gobyerno ng Pajero. Maghingi sa gobyerno Land Cruiser. (There are archbishops who ask government for Pajero, Land Cruiser). Separation of Church and State. The Philippine government cannot even give one centavo magbigay ka doon sa (give). It is not allowed by law but these bishops committed graft and corruption left or right,” he said.
Duterte said even Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic church, admitted the wrongdoings of some priests.
Malacañang earlier said President Duterte’s remarks against the Catholic Church are meant to initiate “intellectual discussion” for the faithful’s enlightenment. (PNA) By Earl Jed Roque