Incoming President Rodrigo Duterte once called the Church as the “most hypocritical institution”. To say the least, the tough-talking Davao mayor isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).
CBCP leader Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas finally aired his side regarding the scathing statements made by Duterte against the powerful Catholic Church.
In his statement released on Sunday, Villegas highlighted the importance of silence. His message was one of reconciliation.
“Mine is the silence of respect for those who consider us their enemies but whose good we truly pray for and whose happiness we want to see unfold,” he said.
It was clear that the Church will not engage in a war with the incoming president.
“There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in speech. Wisdom is knowing when it is time for silence and when is the timing for speech,” Villegas said.
“Mine is the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of Pilate,” he added.
Duterete has been vocal about his criticisms against the Catholic Church and its leaders. He vowed to expose the alleged Church abuses during his six-year term.
Recently, the incoming president slammed Church leaders who allegedly received luxury cars intended for pastoral work.
Duterte claimed that he was abused by a Catholic priest when he was a freshman at the Ateneo de Davao University.