Duterte agrees to give Catholic Church a break

MANILA. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a one-on-one private meeting with Davao Archbisop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on July 9, 2018 at the Malacañan Palace. (Presidential Photo)
MANILA. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a one-on-one private meeting with Davao Archbisop Romulo Valles, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines on July 9, 2018 at the Malacañan Palace. (Presidential Photo)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte agreed on Monday, July 9, to temporarily cease verbal attacks on the Catholic Church during a meeting with Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, who sits as president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement that Duterte and Valles agreed on a moratorium on statements about the Church."

The President held a one-on-one private meeting with Valles at around 4 p.m. Monday. The meeting, held in the Malacañan Palace, lasted for about 30 minutes, said Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go.

The meeting between Duterte and Valles happened on the heels of President Duterte's relentless tirades against the Catholic Church.

Duterte has been heavily criticized for calling God "stupid" and for other anti-Catholic remarks. Duterte has refused to apologize.

Two days prior to his meeting with Valles, the President once again hit church leaders who are allegedly using God's name "in vain" just to criticize him.

“The priests and the church and everybody connected with a sect or religion or whatever, when you criticize me, criticize me with all the heart’s content. Do it. I’m even asking you to do it para malaman ko hindi kayo agrabyado or agrabyado kayo sa performance ko,” Duterte said in a speech delivered in Davao City on July 7.

(The priests and the church and everybody connected with a sect or religion or whatever, when you criticize me, criticize me with all the heart’s content. Do it. I’m even asking you to do it so I can assess if you are aggrieved or not aggrieved at my performance.)

“When you criticize me, do not use the platform of God. [Do not tell me] that God will send you to hell, that God will not forgive you, [that] hell is waiting for you. Do not do it. Do not take God’s name in vain because pag-resbak ko, makasali ko na ’yung Panginoong Diyos,” he added.

(When you criticize me, do not use the platform of God. [Do not tell me] that God will send you to hell, that God will not forgive you, [that] hell is waiting for you. Do not do it. Do not take God’s name in vain because God might be attacked if I hit you back.) (SunStar Philippines)

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