By Genalyn Kabiling
Pope Francis became angry with a Catholic bishop for allegedly meddling in local politics and replaced him with an officer-in-charge at the archdiocese of Manila, President Duterte said Tuesday.
According to the President, former Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle was supposedly investigated on the matter and later removed from his post.
Cardinal Tagle recently left Manila to assume a new post at the Vatican. He was appointed prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples last December 2019.
Bishop Broderick Pabillo has been designated as Manila’s apostolic administrator pending the appointment of a new archbishop.
“Nagmarunong. Tingnan mo, gamit nila ang pera kinon-tribute nila doon sa yellow-yellow. Tingnan mo nangyari, wala tayong bishop ngayon. Di mo ba alam? Tinanggal (He’s a know-it-all. Look, they use the contributed money for the yellows (political opposition). Look what happened, we have no bishops now. Don’t you know? He was removed),” he said at the assembly of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines (LMP) in Pasay City.
“Binigyan lang tayo na caretaker na pari. Walang bishop ng Manila. Nagalit si Pope kasi nakialam sa pulitika. ‘Yan ang totoo diyan. Kaya ang binigay sa atin officer-in-charge na lang (They gave us a caretaker priest. We have no bishop in Manila. The Pope got mad because he meddled in politics. That’s the truth. That’s why we were just given an officer-in-charge),” he said.
Duterte claimed this was the “open secret” about the situation concerning Tagle. “Tagle was out. He was investigated.”
He then explained how he got the information, suggesting he was “listening” to everyone.
“Eh ako Presidente, siyempre malaman ko kasi nakikinig ako sa lahat (I am the President, so of course I will know, because I am listening to everyone,” he said.
The President has been at odds with some Catholic bishops who have been critical of his war on drugs. He has accused them of alleged corruption and sexual abuses, saying the Catholic church was a hypocritical institution.