Duterte vows moratorium on statements about Church
President Rodrigo Duterte has agreed not to issue anymore harsh statements about the Church during his meeting with Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Romulo Valles in Malacanang on Monday.
The 30-minute meeting took place after the CBCP issued a strongly worded pastoral letter on the recent tirades of the President against the Church, particularly the Roman Catholic and its teachings.
"PRRD (Duterte) agreed to a moratorium on statements about the church after the meeting. It was a one on one meeting," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a text message.
While some quarters considered the pastoral letter as strongly worded, Roque described it as "tamed."
"We have read the July 9 pastoral exhortation of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), and take note of the concerns of our bishops, which the Duterte administration is currently addressing," he said.
Roque said the Palace also recognizes and respects the principle of separation of the Church and State.
"The pastoral exhortation mentioned peace as the common vocation and mission of the Church. It called on our people to remain steadfast amidst the 'dark times' that we are going through due to the presence of violence in our communities. Like our brothers and sisters in the Church, the President’s program of governance is also to actively work for lasting peace by waging a war against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption. This war is our fight for the safety of all Filipino families and for their right to live in a peaceful society," he added.
Roque said the administration remains undistracted in its goal of bringing more comfortable lives for all Filipinos.
Some quarters have criticized Duterte after he called God "stupid" and questioned some teachings and doctrines of the Catholic church, particularly on original sin. Celerina Monte/DMS