PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has found an ally in the Catholic hierarchy—Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales — who said fault-finders were wrong to think they had a monopoly over righteousness.
Rosales, the archbishop emeritus of Manila, said Duterte had shown decisiveness in government “you have never seen in many decades.”
He chided the President’s critics and urged Filipinos to pray to “lessen the faults” of the new leadership.
“Now there is a new leader and we can see he is on a right track, the leadership really is on a right track,” he said at the Church-run Radyo Veritas 846 over the weekend.
The prelate acknowledged that Duterte’s methods had drawn criticisms, but said he would rather pray for the President.
In an apparent invitation to the public to try to see good in Duterte’s actions, Rosales argued that God does not limit goodness to one shape, as goodness can come in many shapes.
“You know you cannot own goodness. Sometimes we think we’re the only ones who are good. No way, that’s not right,” Rosales said.
The cardinal’s statements contrasted with those of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, who said on Sunday he could no longer stomach the widespread killings of suspected drug pushers and traders.
“I do not have to be a bishop to say this. I do not have to be a Catholic to be disturbed by the killings that jar us every time we hear or watch or read the news,” the prelate said in a statement entitled, “Let the Humanity in Us Speak.”