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Duterte claims all priests are 'stupid'

Alexis Romero - Philstar.com
Duterte claims all priests are 'stupid'
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan campaign rally in Victorias City Sports and Amusement Center, Negros Occidental on March 8, 2019.
King Rodriguez / Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte made yet another sweeping statement about the Catholic Church, calling all priests "stupid" for entering a vocation that does not allow them to marry. 

Duterte, who has been disparaging the Church after it criticized his bloody war on narcotics, questioned why some men chose to become priests even if it means not being able to court women. 

"Is there an intelligent priest? They are all stupid. If they aren’t stupid, they wouldn’t enter priesthood," Duterte said during the distribution of land ownership certificates in Negros Occidental last Friday. 

"You are a man, but you chose to be a priest. You keep on looking at all the beautiful women that you can’t court. My God," he added. 

Duterte has been hurling tirades — some of them unfounded — against the Catholic Church, the faith of more than 80 percent of Filipinos. In his previous speeches, Duterte said at least 80 percent of Catholic priests are gay but did not state the basis for his claim. 

READ: A look at the Church's 'tirades' vs Duterte

The president has also been hitting the Church for the sex abuses involving some members of the clergy and for using the pulpit to criticize him. 

Duterte, who has been using the presidential podium to question Catholic doctrines, said priests should refrain from criticizing the government in their sermons because of the separation of Church and state. 

"The priests shouldn’t overstep their boundaries. You know that they started it first. Tell them that there is a separation of church and state. The sons of b****** attack me in the pulpit using the religion," the president said. 

"If you are a priest and you want to attack me, don’t do it in the pulpit because this is the spokesman, the table of the church. Step away from it. 'I am a priest and I don’t like Duterte because he killed criminals especially the drug addicts. As a Filipino, I am protesting against him. The Filipinos have the right to know,'” he added. 

The principle of church and state enshrined in the 1987 Constitution prohibits the state from establishing a national religion and interfering with citizens' free exercise of their religious beliefs.

READ: CBCP breaks silence on Duterte’s tirades: We must learn to be brave

While some claim the principle bars clergymen from interfering with or speaking about state affairs, the constitution recognizes the spiritual dimension of citizens. The constitution said educational institutions should "teach the rights and duties of citizenship, strengthen ethical and spiritual values, develop moral character and personal discipline." 

Some bishops have also argued that the Church has the duty to correct what is wrong even in the realm of politics because governance has a moral dimension. 

'Stay away from priests'

Duterte also advised women to stay away from priests because they are also men with desires. 

"The women should refrain from going near the priests because when you are near him, he will just smell the scent of your body. And if he corners you in the church, patay ka (you're in trouble), he will court you. Do you know why? It’s because he is a man," the president said. 

"God gave him a penis. What will they do with that? Will they slap it against the door every morning? God was the one who made a mistake there, not us," he added.  

READ: Duterte changes tune, now warns those threatening to harm priests

Duterte went on to question the creation story in the Bible, including God's decision to create a woman. 

"He (God) created paradise. He created Adam. That would have sufficed already because there was man. Or he could have added more men so that they’ll just kill each other if they don’t agree on what to do. But he created a woman. The woman has a vagina," Duterte said. 

"Frankly speaking. I’m not joking with you. ‘Di ba? If he didn’t create a woman — what for? I don’t understand the religion of these fools," he added. 

READ: Palace: Duterte's anti-Church tirades not to blame for death threats vs priests

Last June, Duterte drew flak for calling God "stupid" for allowing temptation to tarnish his creation. He, later on, apologized for his remark but insisted that priests should not use homilies to attack his policies. 

Duterte's daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has urged Filipinos not to listen to her father when he is interpreting the Bible because he is not a priest. Critics, however, insist that Duterte's issue with the Church does not give him the license to insult other people's religious beliefs.

CATHOLIC CHURCH

RODRIGO DUTERTE

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