“When I had the opportunity of kissing the hand of the Pope, I said, ‘Bless the Philippines, Your Holiness,’ and his answer was, ‘Yes, I will also bless your president,‘” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a video clip in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican shown on television yesterday.
‘Pope Francis vows to bless Phl, Duterte’
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - January 20, 2017 - 12:24am

MANILA, Philippines - Pope Francis will bless the Philippines and President Duterte in a gesture of goodwill to a controversial figure known for his lurid lambasting of priests and bishops.

“When I had the opportunity of kissing the hand of the Pope, I said, ‘Bless the Philippines, Your Holiness,’ and his answer was, ‘Yes, I will also bless your president,‘” Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza said in a video clip in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican shown on television yesterday.

Dureza is in Rome for peace talks between the government and National Democratic Front.

He met the Pope at the Vatican and delivered a letter from Duterte thanking him for his 2015 visit to the Philippines, which has Asia’s biggest Catholic population.

Duterte famously uttered “son of a b***h” in Filipino when the Pope’s visit caused traffic snarl-ups. He has since apologized and said his remark was aimed at incompetent officials.

The Philippine firebrand has often targeted priests at home, especially those critical of his deadly war on drugs.    

On Wednesday, he accused several unnamed priests of having multiple marriages and suggested they try shabu, the crude methamphetamine at the heart of the crackdown, so they could experience its effects.       

 

POPE FRANCIS
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