Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has defended anew the Catholic Church in the Philippines against the recent tirade by Mr. Duterte who deliberately called Catholicism as “not a good religion.”
As a devout Catholic, De Lima said she cannot remain silent while Duterte continues to undermine the very institution that continues to speak out against the injustices and abuses happening in this country.
“I am a Catholic. I was baptized and raised as one. I’ve always endeavored to nurture and strengthen my faith as I grow older. My faith has deepened in these most trying times of my life,” De Lima said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 532.
“I therefore take deep offense at Mr. Duterte’s incessant vilification, insults and attacks against the Catholic Church, singling it out among the active religions in the country,” she added.
In an interview with Kingdom of Jesus Christ founder Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City last June 8, Duterte reportedly said he has no plans to celebrate the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines come 2021 because the coming of Christianity allegedly “started our travails and agony and sorrow.”
Duterte said that Catholicism is “not a good religion” supposedly because the coming of Christianity marked the start of the Philippines’ 400-year subjugation under the Spaniards.
According to Bishops Ruperto Santos of Balanga, Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao and Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon, the Catholic Church will still celebrate the 500th year of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021 even without Duterte’s support.
The lady Senator from Bicol underscored that Catholic clergy and its faithful across the world should speak out and take action against Duterte’s relentless attacks against their religion.
“Knowing how unhinged this President is, I have a choice, as some friends would occasionally advise me, to just ignore him. But no! This is not right. The malignancy of his relentless assaults against the Catholic faith is absolutely unacceptable,” she said.
“Patuloy nyang ginagawa ito dahil tayong mga Katoliko, kasama na ang Pamunuan ng Simbahan, ay hindi umaalma sa kanya,” added the former justice secretary. Critical of government’s abuses and proclivities at corrupting good values, the Catholic Church and its leaders in the Philippines have always been subjected to Mr. Duterte’s tirades aimed at discrediting and tainting the public image of Catholicism.