Duterte’s vow not to insult Catholic Church lasts less than one day

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Catholic
President Duterte speaking today. Screenshot from livestream of event (see below).

Less than a day after promising a “moratorium” on talking about the Catholic Church, President Duterte slammed his religious critics and called God stupid.

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The president has since claimed that he was not referring to the Catholic Church today (Tuesday, July 10). However, his references to foreign missionaries and mention of original sin clearly point to the dominant religion of the Philippines.

In an apparent reference to foreign missionaries such as Sister Patricia Fox, the president said: “Do not give me something like, you’re a tourist here, then you come here under the cloak of what religion, and start to blabber your mouth and attack us.”

He then made reference to the “separation of powers between any church and state”.

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“Do not include your God in your platform of your criticism in your attack because when I attack, if you include God in the issue, son of a bitch, I’ll get back at that God,” he said.

“I have the right to answer. There is a separation of powers. Why are you fucking… the name of the Lord against me?”

The president was speaking during a business event at the  Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga this afternoon.

It was slightly less than 24 hours since he had met with Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday.

Following the meeting, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that the president “agreed to a moratorium on statements about the Church after the meeting”.

However, during an interview today, the president said: “We were discussing some modality of behaviour, but definitely that would not prevent me from just saying my truth.”

In his speech today, he said: “I am not attacking the Church. What I said that if you use religion as a format, I was not referring to any religion.” 

Catholic bishops respond

The president has recently sparked controversy by calling God a “stupid son-of-a-bitch” and claiming that he invented his own religion after being sexually abused by an American priest while at school. 

Despite being widely criticised for these words — and his apparent ‘moratorium’ on repeating them — he said today: “You know, my God never created hell, because if he created hell, he must be a stupid God. My God is not stupid to create man just to burn him in hell. I do not believe in that. I do not believe in heaven because if I do, only a fraction of you will ever enter heaven.”

He then described hell as “fiction” and said his god was the voting public. “I survived the elections with six million,” he said. “That is my God – six million Filipinos plus the others who voted for me above the margin, and those who really voted for me.”

Then, in an apparent reference to the Christian God, he said: I cannot see that God. However I want to help that God, I can do nothing. I cannot see that God.

“But in this world, I can see hell. This is where I will kill those sons of a bitch. I said do not destroy my country because I will really kill you. Do not destroy the young, our children.”

Archbishop Valles has now called for prayers to invoke “God’s mercy and justice on those who have blasphemed God’s holy name, those who slander and bear false witness and those who commit murder or justify murder as a means for fighting criminality.”

He has also asked Filipino Catholics to participate in three days of fasting, prayer and almsgiving starting next Tuesday, July 17.

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