Church’s ties with Duterte expected to get worse
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles on Tuesday said the relationship between President Duterte and the Catholic Church was not likely to improve, following the chief executive’s renewed tirade against the prelates over criticism against the war on illegal drugs.
“It won’t improve, I think it will worsen,” said Arguelles in a statement issued after the President attacked the Church anew in a speech on Monday at a police camp in Zamboanga City.
Duterte took exception to the Church’s criticism of the extrajudicial killings amid his war against illegal drugs.
He also attacked some bishops who he said kept mistresses when he was still Davao City mayor.
The President has been engaging in a word war with the Church, its leaders and religious groups since he ran for president.
Arguelles said he believes Duterte would make good on his promise to reveal the corrupt bishops and priests.
“It’s only right. That should not be concealed because that is what is destroying the Church,” Arguelles said.
“But he will not succeed if he will prosecute the Church to destroy it. Many have attempted but no one succeeded,” he said.
Former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz said he expects the Church’s rocky relationship with the President to remain as it is or turn even more sour.
He said the Church had to speak out because of its duty to preach the good news, and its fundamental principles of loving God and loving one’s neighbor.
“If you kill your neighbors, kill other people, no matter how righteous you are that is not acceptable,” Cruz said.
Cruz said the right to life was being undermined and that killing was becoming the new normal.
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