Akbayan solon calls on religious leaders to defend faith
The Church should not fall to the trap of seeking dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte “who has shown no remorse in his murderous ways and violent language,” Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin warned on Thursday.
The opposition lawmaker’s tirades came after the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has welcomed the three-man team tasked by Duterte to hold a dialogue with the Catholic Church and other religious groups. This also came after Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called for sobriety amid the President’s “stupid God” rant.
Villarin suggested that the Church, instead of holding a dialogue with Duterte’s men, should “steer the faithful’s righteous anger to a call for unity in defense of faith and justice.”
“It should mobilize the flock to demand an end to impunity and for the rule of law to prevail amidst moves to destroy our institutions. Now is no longer the moment of study, reflection, and clarification of doctrine but a time of action,” Villarin added in a statement.
The Akbayan representative also criticized Tagle for asking priests from his diocese to: “Be at peace. Be calm. Don’t let things disturb your inner peace. Let us read the situation with the eyes of faith.”
He lamented how Tagle was “sorely missed during these trying times when he led the flock to overthrow the Marcos dictatorship through a peaceful people power revolt.”
Tagle’s response to the President’s offending statement also bared how “alienated the Church leader is to the realities of the faithful who have suffered from extrajudicial killings, high inflation, lack of accountability, and sellout of our sovereignty to China under Duterte’s regime,” the lawmaker said.
“How can Cardinal Tagle not see the ‘complete picture of the context’ of Duterte’s action when he has incessantly attack the Church, cursed the Pope, justified the killing of priests, killed the innocents in a deadly war against the poor?” he asked.
The controversy stemmed from the President’s June 22 statement, criticizing the Bible’s creation story.
“Who is this stupid God? You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would destroy the quality of your work. How can you rationalize that God? How can you believe him? So now we’re all born with an original sin. Even in the womb, we already have sin. What kind of religion is that?” Duterte said. /jpv
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