By Genalyn Kabiling
Catholic bishops will likely still commit adultery even if they are allowed to marry, President Rodrigo Duterte said in his latest rebuke of church officials.
In a recent public engagement in Davao City, the President expressed doubts on the priests’ marriage commitment, saying he and the prelates have the same “racket” when it comes to women.
“Kaya minura ko lahat ng obispo pati pari. Pareho lang ang racket natin, g***. Maniwala kayo. Babae (That’s why I cursed all bishops including priests. We have the same racket, these fools. Believe me. Women,” Duterte said during the thanksgiving gathering with the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Davao City last Friday night.
“Dapat talaga ‘yan sila mag-asawa. Ang problema sa pari, dahil ang social contact nila sa tao… Maski sa papayagan mo ‘yan magpakasal, mangabit pa rin ‘yang mga buang na ‘yan (They should be allowed to marry. The problem with priest is because of the social contact with the people, even if you allow them to marry, these fools will still commit adultery),” he said.
The President previously pushed for reforms in the Catholic Church after slamming some bishops for allegedly sexually abusing nuns and children. He even proposed that priests should be allowed to marry, even with the same sex, as “solution” to end reported clerical abuses.
The President’s latest rebuke of the church officials came ahead of his attendance to the Sinulog festival in Cebu province on Sunday. This will be the first time Duterte will attend this year’s festival, which honors the Santo Niño or Child Jesus, since he assumed office in 2016.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo has defended thePresident’s criticisms against some bishops, saying he would not make such statements without basis.
“‘Yun namang kanyang pag-banat, palagi namang may base. Hindi naman siya bumabanat ng walang batayan. Saka yung kanya, based on personal experience, yung banat niya (His attacks always have a basis. He does not criticize without basis. And his tirades are based on personal experience),” he said in a radio interview Sunday.
Panelo explained the President continues to believe in God and that everyone is His children.
“Palaging sinasabi niya eh tayong lahat, ay anak ng isang pangkalahatang Diyos na isa lamang naman ang tinuturo sa ating lahat, magmahalan tayo, ‘yun ang tinuturo sa atin (He always says that all of us are children of one God, and that God teaches us to love each other. That’s the teaching of the Lord),” he said.
After tackling the alleged sexual abuses committed by priests, the President meanwhile candidly talked about his personal life during the Davao forum. He said he would rather be dead if Viagra, a medicine for erectile dysfunction, no longer works on him.
Duterte, 74, has a common-law wife but often admitted he has other girlfriends.
“I’m not joking. ‘Pag wala na talaga ako — 74 na eh. ‘Pag hindi na nadala ng Viagra, magpakamatay na lang ako (If I no longer have… I’m 74. If Viagra won’t work, I’d rather kill myself),” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.