‘Those who call God stupid are anti-Christ’
Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, one of the country’s most popular Church figures, made vague references to President Rodrigo Duterte’s rants against the Church in a New Year message he gave his godson, Seth, through an open letter.
Villegas, former head of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said rearing children nowadays was being made tougher by what he called “anti-Christs.”
“You are subjected to so much vulgarity and violence that I fear you might catch the wrong values which can ruin your future as a good Filipino and as a good child of God,” he said.
Villegas did not name Mr. Duterte but clearly referred to the President’s statements against going to Church and attending Mass.
“Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to Church and attend Mass,” he said.
Not a joke
“Whoever teaches you that is anti-Christ and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke,” Villegas said.
“They are not for Christ. They are against Christ,” he added.
In his letter, he asked Seth to “promise never ever to disrespect the name of God.”
“You might not be able to understand God always,” he said. “Our minds are too limited. Do not force the infinite God to fit into our limited minds,” he added.
“They who call God stupid are anti-Christ,” Villegas said.
He urged his godson “to pray for for these people but do not imitate them.”
“Respect them as elders but do not follow their bad example,” he added.
Villegas also asked his godchild never to call people names or use cuss words even as expressions.
“Dirty words that come out of your mouth—foul language, lies, gossips, slander, malicious jokes—make you crass and ungentlemanly,” he said.
“Shameless crass people use such dirty words. Do not imitate. They are anti-God. They cannot be honorable,” Villegas said.
The Church leader also advised his godson against illegal drugs and killing people.
“Do not ever try drugs. Say no to friends who might offer you drugs. You kill yourself slowly by doing that. Drug users and drug addicts are sick. They need treatment and help in order to be well again,” Villegas said.
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