Atienza to Duterte: Stop insulting Catholic faith; Church can’t be destroyed
MANILA, Philippines — Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza has defended the Catholic Church from President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades, urging the Chief Executive to stop insulting the faith as the Church “cannot be destroyed.”
In a statement on Tuesday, Atienza pointed out that Duterte’s “incessant” statements against the clergy are “creating a climate and culture of death.” He added that Duterte should instead focus on his campaign to stamp out corruption.
“The Church cannot be destroyed. Many have tried but failed. I’d rather that the President devotes his time to giving Filipinos a better life and I want him to succeed in that,” Atienza said.
The former Manila mayor also noted that while he has been supporting Duterte’s flagship campaign against illegal drugs and increasing the pay of military and police personnel, he “speak out against him when he is wrong.”
“Huwag niyo pong maliitin, insultuhin, at ilagay sa kapahamakan ang ating mga pari at obispo. I believe in my faith and I will continue defending my faith,” said Atienza, pointing out Duterte should not focus on the Catholic Church, “which has been dealing with wrongdoings committed by its members.”
“We in Congress must stand and prevent the continuing efforts to destroy the foundations of our Church. What will succeed in the end is still the will of God,” he added.
Duterte, in various speeches, has launched unfounded attacks against the Catholic Church, which has been critical of his brutal war on drugs and anti-criminality drive.
The President called bishops “useless,” and even went on urging “tambays” to kill and rob them. In his latest attack, Duterte claimed 90 percent of Catholic priests are gays.
“Kaya pagdating ko sabi ko, ‘Hoy, kayong mga tambay diyan, ‘pag dumaan ‘yang obispo ninyo holdapan ‘yan maraming pera ‘yan p***** i** niya. Patayin mo,” Duterte said in a speech during the birth anniversary celebration of Gov. Antonio Kho in Masbate last January 10, eliciting laughter from the crowd.
The nation’s firebrand leader also drew the ire of the public and Catholics for calling God “stupid” and questioning the creation theory in the Bible. /kga
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