Catholic Church should welcome Duterte's remarks: Panelo
Malacanang on Tuesday said the Catholic Church should welcome the unorthodox narratives of President Rodrigo Duterte rather than being offended.
"The latest controversial remarks of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the Church is his way of shaking long-held religious tenets and beliefs that instead of moulding them into being righteous individuals make them cling to religion as an opium," Palace Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
"In so doing, the President puts to a test the validity of the religious rituals bordering to fanaticism as against the practice of genuine spirituality as taught by the different personifications of one God," he added.
During his speech in Kidapawan City last Saturday, Duterte called the Catholic teachings "silly" for having three Gods.
"Rather than the Church and its believers being offended by such unorthodox narratives, they should welcome it as a process to strengthen further their faith or enlighten those who seek the truth of what they have embraced," said Panelo.
He said the president is unmindful on any consequential erosion of his public support while he makes those unconventional discourses.
"His intention being to initiate an intellectual discussion for the faithfuls’ enlightenment and spiritual awakening which could lead them to tread the path of uprightness so necessary in the moral regeneration of a nation so abundant with religiosity but wanting in spirituality," he added.
Panelo said Duterte endeavors to be creative in fulfilling his constitutional duty to serve and protect the people.
"In fulfilling his constitutional duty to serve and to protect the people, the President endeavours to be creative, using means that may be unnerving to the conservatives unused to his ways of governance but effective in putting across message he wants to convey to the majority of the people who, surveys show, approves of his maverick methods," he said.
He added the president "at the same time sets the limits of the freedom of expression to a notch higher than its common use". Ella Dionisio/DMS