THE Catholic Church got a “tongue-lashing” anew on Tuesday from President Rodrigo Duterte during his meeting with families of 44 policemen who got killed in the Mamasapano massacre two years ago.
“I challenge all the bishops conference. Let’s resign tomorrow, all together, okay? Resign. I will do it first. I will deliver my letter of resignation, you wait. On bended knees, I will put it to Rizal at the Luneta as a Filipino,” Duterte said in a speech delivered at the Heroes Hall in the Malacañang Palace.
“I will place [my resignation letter] there, pick that up, provided that all bishops will resign. We all have the same disgrace,” he added.
In his speech usually aimed at assailing the Catholic Church, the President once again encouraged the public to read “Altar of Secrets” written by late journalist Aries Rufo and published in 2013.
The book contains corruption, sexual abuses and other controversies that hounded the Philippine Catholic Church.
Duterte castigated the Church for washing hands, saying the priests too were even inclined to commit mistakes.
He then cited the alleged two wives of Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, who earlier expressed concern over the rising death toll of drug personalities.
“The priests, we are both rowdy. Read that book. My opening remarks [is dedicated to] Bacani. That son of a b****, Bacani has two wives like me. Stupid. Then, that monkey would speak that way. Son of a b****,” the President said.
“If you say that I’m lying and I don’t have the right to curse, I will resign. There’s no problem with that. But if you have been able to read that, I will tell the bishops, many of them, ‘We have the same ignominy – women. But you are into corruption. I am not into money, just into wome. So I am limited to that,’” he added.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Duterte’s ire rooted in Bacani’s statement, questioning the administration’s crackdown on illegal drugs.
Bacani had said that “merciless ways” of dealing with the most miserable, including the drug dependents, should be rejected.
The Church’s opposition made the chief executive absolutely irate as he had even forgotten that there were children present during his meeting with the families of slain SAF troopers.
Duterte told the priests to wait for his book, which he said would be entitled “Hypocrisy.”
“One day, I will write a book [entitled] ‘Hypocrisy.’ It would include politicians trying to wash hands. But you will have the starring [roles]. Wait for it,” he said.
Last week, Duterte issued a sharp retort against the Catholic Church for disparaging his efforts to curb the illicit drug sale.
He had told the priests to “use shabu” to realize the drug menace is serious and “preach about the drug problem” instead of criticizing him.
The President insisted that there was nothing wrong in issuing profanity-laced statements agaisnt the Church.
“If the people say I am wrong, it is wrong for me to curse publicly, [I will tell them], ‘What’s wrong with that? It was easy for them (the priests) to call politician corrupt. How about you? Some are afraid because of politics. You are son of a b****,” Duterte said. (SunStar Philippines)