Duterte’s Impact on the Catholic Church

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The assaulting comments of the offensive President Rodrigo Roa Duterte against the defensive catholic church has stimulated a big cross fire upon the catholic believers and the Duterte loyalists. The separation of the nation and the church has been made legally during the early times and is still observed during this time. Conceptually, the term refers to the creation of a secular state which means that the country is independent and is not related or controlled by any spiritual denomination. Duterte wants the church to apply this secularity and try not to meddle in how he runs the government. The two parties’ lack of communication is the main reason why the feud is still not resolved. The directness and raw honesty of Duterte in his words has made a disapproving effect to the church. President Duterte made an impact on the Catholic Church because of his words and actions, proclaiming extrajudicial killings as a solution, and his offensive remarks against God.

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The President likes to talk tough. His vulgarity in his choice of words has drawn mixed reviews from the local and international scene which makes him a favorite subject of criticism and intrigues. His choice of words divided the nation, between those who admired his bareness and those who see a leader who lacks diplomatic skills. He disregards all these politically correct words and continues to use his own language, the language of the masses, but, as a consequence, his words are found offensive to the progressive groups, especially his jokes. His stern and crude reputation maybe helpful in order for him to convince the public that he can get everything that he promised done just before he steps down from the executive branch. Meanwhile, the church seemed to be unpleased with the chief executive’s dishonorable behavior. Especially on how he addresses and treats women. His soft spot for women has caused him several troubles. Many activists have showed their disappointment to the President’s demeanor and how he confessed that he is a womanizer. The church execrates how he jokingly catcall women from the crowd and even female journalists during his public appearances. The clergy also condemns how he gives criticism against his contra. Duterte’s foul words has stepped the morality of his critics. How he loathes some of his opponents publicly is what the church greatly disliked.

The deaths of people caused by the all-out war against drugs of the government have caught the attention of the local and international human rights advocates. The growing number of extrajudicial killing cases has alarmed not just the activists but also the church. President Duterte during his campaign has openly stated that as much as possible he wants to eradicate the drug instances in our country who he blames for the different rape cases that continue to raise fear to women who needs to go out during night. His intentions are pure that he only wants to promote security and justice for the citizens and the Catholic Church is not against that. They are only implying the sacredness of life on which the bible is teaching. But the two parties believe that peace can be achieved in two different ways. The predominant religion has openly said that they are in full support of the president’s war on illegal drugs but they strongly condemn the bloody result of this all-out war and it slowly forgets humanity. It is obvious that there is a spreading culture of violence. It is saddening to see, sometimes it drives me to tears how violent words seem to natural and ordinary. Thousands of faithfuls have gathered to show their grit to urge President Duterte to stop his drug war. The believers used the power of prayers and hymns bringing back the memories of the People Power. We have to stand up. Somehow this is already a show of force by the faithful that they don’t like these extrajudicial killings.

The church has violently reacted when Duterte called God as “Stupid” in one of his speeches he also criticized how the Catholic God lacks common sense. In response to this statements, the Bishops immediately called for a national day of prayer last July 16 and asked 3 days of fasting to ask God’s mercy, justice and enlightenment to the justice system of our country especially to the people who justifies murder as a means of fighting criminality. Even though they did not dropped names, it is too obvious that they are referring to their opponent, the President. According to Duterte (2016), the most hypocritical institution is the Catholic Church. For the church continues to protect priests are serial abusers and the corrupted priests. The President’s ongoing feud may be personal because he have shared that some of his classmates were molested by some priests way back in Davao City which boils up his anger against these religious institution. Based on the law, the church should not meddle with the state, but it’s too obvious that the church has power to elect government officials using their influence which made them somehow a King or a Queenmaker. Misleading news about Duterte and the church who have been issued by different news outlets has also became a reason why the feud continues to boil up. The issue of fake news continues to haunt the country as the dissemination of wrong information which the public easily believes. This information has been shared by some unreliable sources who wants to gain attention from the public.

In conclusion, the ongoing feud seemingly divided the nation into two: those who are believers of the change that the current government might bring and the sacredness that the clergy is teaching. Duterte has made a terrible mistake in his opinions against God but the church needs to understand the concept of a secular state and to stay out of the way and give the President a chance to show what kind of change that he in stored for us. The two parties should stop throwing shade at each other for it does not help in resolving our country’s issues and does not help to our country’s development. In fact, they should have a proper dialogue or series of discussions addressing the issues which is very critical religiously and politically. The government and the church should stand in a common ground in order to work hand in hand spiritually and politically to tow the country into greater heights.

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