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Bishops hit back at Duterte's ‘irresponsible, worrisome’ statements

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 12/6/2018 Dalangin-Fernandez, Lira
Bishop Broderick Pabillo Bishop Broderick Pabillo

President Rodrigo Duterte's most recent public tirades directed at Church leaders were deemed "irresponsible" and "worrisome" by some bishops on Thursday.

During his speech at Malacañang on Wednesday, Duterte wished death for bishops whom he called "useless" and claimed that most of Catholic priests in the Philippines are gay.

For Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, all of the President's accusations were downright "irresponsible" as he "cannot prove" them.

In a text message to Church reporters, Pabillo said: "These are all irresponsible statements since he cannot prove that. Paninira lang iyan.

He added: "That irresponsible accusation does not make his actions and immoralities right! The sins of other do not make his own sins right."

Duterte's remarks also alarmed Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, who said the tough-talking President's statements should no longer be taken as jokes.

“This is worrisome coming from a psychotic mind! He is sick and a megalomaniac. This should no longer be taken as (a) joke! He is really a murderous mad man!" his text read.

Bishop Ruperto Santos of Balanga also lamented the President's remark urging "gay" priests to remain "remain celibate or leave the priesthood."

He said that the Catholic Church "always safeguards her flock, protects them and always promote their well-being and their future."

"And so, the Catholic Church always cleans and cleanse her ranks and files. She does not condone her erring priests. She corrects them, appeals for their change of life and lifestyle. And to the point of suspending them and dismissing them from priestly ministries," Santos said.

"The Catholic Church follows and adapts since then what the Holy Father openly stated to 'remain celibate or leave the priesthood'," he added.

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David had also responded to the latest of Duterte's fiery words against bishops.

In his Facebook post, David cited Bible passages recalling that the Church has endured many years of persecution and urged the faithful to "love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." —LDF, GMA News

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