‘I believe in God, but why confess sins to men?’


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has again trained his guns on the Catholic Church, calling on it to reform or perish, and blasting the sacrament of confession.

“Why do you have to go to confession and whisper your sins to an idiot when you can always go directly to God and say ‘I’m sorry’? Why do you have to whisper into the ear of another human being? It’s crazy,” Duterte told the Moscow-based news channel Russia Today (RT) in an interview published on Monday.

Duterte, who is at odds with the Church because of its opposition to his war on drugs, said the 2,000-year-old institution “will launder in the next 10 years.”

“[The] Catholic Church in the Philippines must reform. Do not wait for the day when religion becomes irrelevant in the lives of people,” he said.

Duterte said only Mexicans and Filipinos frequented church when he was in the US with his partner, Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, who worked as a nurse in the US in the early 2000s.

“Confessing your sins to another when you can go directly to God and say ‘Lord, I’m sorry for my sins.’ I am not that religious, but I still believe in God. That there is somebody there—more than what we can, human beings, are capable of,” he said.

The Church teaches that Christians need to confess their sins to a priest to obtain absolution, as commanded by Christ himself. In the Book of John, Christ tells his apostles: “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”RT asked the President about the supposed molestation he had experienced as a young boy at the hands of a priest.

“I said this because of the penchant to keep silent. The abuses of the priests had been filmed everywhere. There was an Italian underground film—I’m sure you saw that—priests were running naked there. And they don’t really bother to investigate. There is no condemnation. Nothing,” Duterte said.

“They show the priests and the religious people doing shenanigans, but it is seen just as part of the show of the night. Is it liberality? Is it because you don’t want to condemn your own countrymen? Or is it because the victims were just natives? Never mind about them. We were considered natives. And sometimes pictured as apes,” he added.

Duterte then encouraged everyone anew to read “Altar of Secrets,” the 2013 book by the late journalist Aries Rufo that revealed corruption, sexual abuses and other controversies that had rocked the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

“By the way, I believe in God. I really believe in God, I put my destiny in the hands of God. But priests? You read the book,” the President said.


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  1. makasalanan on

    Please allow me to put in my two cents worth on this issue. I was baptized as a catholic, I go to church regularly, and most likely, will die as a catholic. I made one confession, as a requirement to receive my first holy sacrament. That was my first and most likely my last confession, and that was done when I was eight or nine years old. While growing up, I have heard so many gossips about catholic priests but my mother always reminded me to make the act of contrition, (sincere remorseful) and ask God to forgive my sins. To this date, I always confess my sins directly to God, ask for forgiveness and His Blessings. I am always thankful for the Graces He has given me and to my family. Amen..

  2. Jose Samilin on

    This is just so shame to talk about God that you loved most and attack the Sacraments He Himself instituted to the Church He founded through the Apostles. This is fatal to the soul. That is because you do not like the criticism of the Bishop of the CBCP about your administration and your youth experience as victim of priest’s abuse. But these are apart from God’s teaching, representing the weaknesses and unwise deeds of church’s leaders and their priest. You are in fact in the same footing with them as far as salvation is concern, when time comes you are one in one, face to face with God, as that will surely come in the future. I can’t believe you do not know the faith of your mother, Nanay Soling and by acting that way you dishonor her whatever you say now, Your charge of being hypocrite to the Bishops and Priest of the Catholic Church, obviously boomerang to your very own face. Its just so shame, and if Nanay Soling is alive today, probably, you will receive the first and hardest slap to your, as she forgot about you as the President of the Philippines.

  3. By yourself you cannot overcome favorite sins but with the holy spirit all is possible. The sacraments including penance allows you to accept the paraclete making room in you and best of all to participate in christs sacrifice and promise to be one with him through the eucharist communion his real body and blood, the banquet simultaneously celebrated in heaven as on earth at that moment on the altar. Angels sing holy holy holy lord of host heaven and earth are filled with your glory! Confession first to humble yourself, promise to sin no more and let gods rep in earth the priest absolve you in the name of the father, son and holy spirit trinity

  4. Don’t you find it curious, Miss Valente, that what the apostle said for people to be forgiven is to repent and be baptized, rather than confess sins to them? Even if people confessed to them, they did not prescribe a litany of incantations, only told them to repent. I could understand your position if you were quoting from a catechism, but you should want to take care with Scripture.

    Incidentally, repenting is the area of LEAST expertise when it comes to the church.

    Never mind the controversies, no book is needed to deduce what’s going on with the priests from the general air, not isolated incidents, of crime and immorality in catholic countries down to this day. Those priests were supposed to lead their flock. Oh, I guess they led them somewhere, alright.

  5. Sad but true, confession, communion, repeated prayers such as novena, rosaries, 3 o clock prayer, angelus etc…. purgatory, payment for church services are all not in the bible in fact it contradicts the bible in every way. Wake up Catholics! And after all these you have the guts to accuse others as cults? funny but it all boomerangs to your catholic practice and teachings. Gudluk