PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday stepped up his attacks against the Catholic faith, saying that it would disappear in 25 years.
Duterte made the remarks days after Pope Francis led a conference in the Vatican on child abuse committed by members of the clergy.
“Itong Katoliko na ito will disappear in almost 25 years,” Duterte said before the National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay in Pasay City.
Duterte cited the Vatican conference on sexual abuse to drive home his point as regards the wrongdoing of Catholic priests.
“Ito pala ang Katoliko, ‘pag inabot ng libog, madre. Kung mga bakla ang p— ina, mga bata. Who needs a religion like that?” Duterte said.
Duterte once again recounted being molested by a priest when he was a student.
He, however, reiterated in his speech that his tirades against the Church—especially his instruction to drug addicts to hurt bishops—should not be taken too seriously by the public.
“Yang aming away ko sa Katoliko, amin lang ‘yan personal, kayong mga adik, ‘wag ninyong totohanin ‘yung pukpukin yang mga bishop pati mga cardinal, hindi sila kasali sa political ruckus... Sinagot ko lang ‘yung sinabi ng pari na mamatay ako,” he said.
“Pag ginawa mo ‘yan sa kanila, ako mismo ang kalaban mo at ako ang hihirit sa’yo kasi ginagawa ninyo ‘yan para siraan ako,” he added.
Duterte on Saturday bared that Manila Archbishop Cardinal Tagle sent a text message to former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go regarding the threats that some priests are allegedly receiving from someone claiming to be working for the President’s family.
Pope Francis last week said that people who spent their lives denouncing the Catholic church were friends of the devil, as survivors of sexual abuse by clergymen accused him of snubbing an invitation to meet them.
Speaking on the eve of a conference he convened to guide senior bishops on how to tackle widespread abuse that has decimated the Church’s credibility, Francis said its mistakes should be corrected.
But those accusers who did nothing but criticize the Church were “friends, cousins and relatives of the devil,” he told worshippers at the Vatican.