By Leslie Ann Aquino
President Duterte claimed Catholicism would cease to exist in 25 years, but church leaders believe otherwise.
Retired Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani said the Catholic Church will even survive a hundred Dutertes.
“The Catholic Church will survive a hundred Dutertes,” he said in an interview.
Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco also contradicted the claim of Duterte.
“Many people have said that before and where are they now? Six feet below the ground. Church has existed more than 2,000 years,” he said.
In a Facebook post, Kalookan Bishop Pablo David also said the same thing.
“A lot of people have said the same thing many centuries ago. Some have even tried to deliberately destroy the Catholic Church. Well, it appears that not even the sins and human weaknesses of her own members could destroy the Church, as long as we have the humility to admit such wrongdoings and do something to correct them,” he said in a post.
Although there have been times when the Church got diminished or reduced to a minority, as is already happening in some countries, David said: “strangely, it is when she gets marginalized, persecuted, or treated like a minority, that the Church becomes even more alive and effective.
“It is then that she is able to work like a mustard seed, or a little lamp in the dark, or a pinch of salt in a pot of stew, or a little leaven in a mass of dough,” he said.
“She remains in existence, not because of us, or perhaps even in spite of us. Only the Holy Spirit keeps the Church, the Body of Christ, alive; I mean to say that in all humility,” added David.
On Monday, Duterte said the Catholic faith may disappear in 25 years amid allegations of sexual abuse by some clergy.