Duterte: Skip priests, go straight to God

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte urged his audience on Wednesday, February 8, not to trust priests and to communicate with God directly instead.

"Alam mo, may Diyos talaga, diretso ka sa Diyos. Huwag kang dumaan ng kumpisal," said Duterte to a crowd of government housing beneficiaries during the National Housing Summit in Quezon City. (You know, there is really a God, go straight to God. Don't go through the confessional.)

He made fun of priests, cursing them for their supposedly bad breath.

"'Sus, ang baho ng bunganga nitong PI na paring ito. Sintens'yahan ka na ng 20 Our Fathers, bugahan ka pa ng mabahong bunganga," he said. (The breath of these sons of bitches are so smelly. They punish you [to recite] 20 Our Fathers, and tell you that with the foul smell from their mouths.)

He had something to say too about holy water, used by priests for sacraments.

"Huwag sa pari, 'yung tubig diyan, kinuha lang sa poso. Maniwala ka. Totoo. Saan ba nila kinuha iyan, 'yung holy water?" he said. (You don't have to go through the priests, their water, they just got it from the pump. Believe me. It's true. Where did they get it, the holy water?)

He again recalled how he was "touched" by a Jesuit priest, Fr Mark Falvey SJ, in his high school days, and again recommended that his audience read a book about corruption in the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines.

Despite his distrust in priests, Duterte said he continues to have a "deep and abiding faith in God."

Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Duterte has engaged in a word war with Catholic church leaders after they criticized him for cursing at Pope Francis.

In his presidency, the word war again ensued as he called the Church "full of shit" for criticizing his administration's campaign against illegal drugs, and the extrajudicial killings linked to it. – Rappler.com 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.