DAVAO CITY Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is throwing full support to Roman Catholic activists in United States (US) who are calling on a cardinal not to take part in the Papal Conclave this year after he was found to have been protecting priests who have figured in several sexual abuse cases.
Based on an article from the Reuters, the activists delivered a petition with around 10,000 marks to the North Hollywood Church, where Cardinal Roger Mahony lives, to advise the latter not to attend the conclave so as not to insult the survivors of sexual abuse committed by some priest in Los Angeles during his term as archbishop from 1985 to 2011.
In his television program “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” on Sunday, Duterte said his stance on the matter is the same to those catholic activists.
According to church files unsealed under a US court order dated January 2013, Mahony worked to send priests known to be abusers, out of state, to protect them from law enforcement scrutiny in the 1980s.
"For me, the (Roman Catholics) activists did the right thing. It should be, because he (Mahony) has already no moral authority or ascendancy to be selected as the next pope after he failed to deliver his responsibilities as archbishop in the 1980s," Duterte said.
But based on a Canon Law of the Roman Catholic, no one could hinder the cardinal from taking part on the conclave especially the matter also depends on a persuasion from itself or the others.
"If I were him, better not go," Duterte said.
In line with the issue, Duterte also dared the Catholic Church to mend its ways or amend some of its belief, especially with regards sex scandals.
"I am a Roman Catholic... I have every reason to challenge the beliefs of the church, especially na tan-aw nako dili na tama (I believe it is no longer right). And I have every reason to accuse a priest nga nag abuso sa ilang pagka pari like we have here (who abused his being a priest like someone here in Davao City)," Duterte said.
Mahony earlier announced his intention to be one of the 117 cardinals allowed in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to vote for the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
This developed after the Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger, 85, announced his resignation effective February 28, making him the first pope in centuries who resigned from his post.