Cebu archbishop says Duterte out of sync on mockery of All Saints’ Day
CEBU CITY – Out of sync.
This was how Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma described President Duterte’s recent mockery of the Catholic celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, particularly the belief in saints.
In an interview on Friday, the 68-year-old prelate said President Duterte, though the country’s most powerful man, was not in a position to interpret doctrines based on his own beliefs or out of emotions.
“He is not a theologian nor has even studied catechesis or theology,” said Palma in an interview before he presided over a Mass to observe All Souls’ Day at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral on Friday morning.
“He is not an official teacher of doctrine. Every time I hear him saying things like this, I just say to myself, why is he making such remarks when he is not a teacher of doctrine? We better decipher what to believe and what not to believe in what he says,” he added.
President Duterte on Thursday again mocked the Catholic Church, this time about the celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
“Happy All Saints’ … Bakit naman … tarantado talaga itong mga Katoliko ang puta, bakit ba may All Souls’ Day at All Saints’ Day?” (Happy All Saints’ Day. Why do we have to … these Catholics are fools, why do we have this All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day?),” Duterte asked during a post-disaster command conference in Isabela.
“Hindi natin alam kung sino mga santo na ‘yun. Mga gago na iyon, mga lasenggo. Dito na lang kayo. I’ll give you a patron. Get hold of a picture of mine, iyan lagay niyo sa altar, Santo Rodrigo (We don’t even know who those saints are. Those are fools, drunkards. Just stay here with me. I’ll give you a patron. Get hold of a picture of mine. Put that in the altar, Santo Rodrigo),” he said.
President Duterte’s remarks came on the same day Malacañang issued his message for All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, calling on Filipinos for a “solemn and meaningful” celebration” and urging the public to “emulate our saints.”
“Together, let us emulate our saints, pray for the eternal repose of souls and deepen our engagement with our communities as we work for real and lasting change,” he said in his message.
Palma believed Catholics in the country were mature enough to dismiss the President’s mockery of the saints.
“I think, our faith is strong enough (to withstand any deceptions). It’s been a long tradition of the Church to commemorate all those in heaven.
Because of their great love for God, and how they lived their lives, now they are in heaven,” he said.
“The saints are our inspiration. We seek their help, and teachings serve as our guide in life. We are happy to ask God’s help through their intercessions,” he added.
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