CBCP explains silence on Duterte’s bashing


AMID the continuous bashing it is getting from President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, not a whimper has been heard from the Catholic Church for quite sometime. But not anymore.

On Sunday, in a pastoral letter entitled “Understanding Silence,” the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas explained that silence, amid the noise of violence and terror, should not always be interpreted as the fear of cowards.

According to Villegas, there is always a time for everything, as with silence and speech.

“There is nobility in silence like the silence of the lambs brought to slaughter in the temple to atone for sins.” he added. “Silence indeed is the language of God and only those who speak silence will be able to grasp Him.”

Villegas did not name names, but he was obviously alluding to Duterte, who has incessantly lambasted the men of the cloth, at every opportune time since the campaign period until now that he is already President-elect.

Villegas said that “mine is the silence of Jesus before the arrogance of [Pontius] Pilate.”

“….Mine is the silence of the vigilant waiting for destiny to unfold. Mine is the silence of respect for those who consider us their enemies but whose good we truly pray for and whose happiness we want to see unfold,” he said.

“There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in speech. Wisdom is knowing when it is time for silence and when is the timing for speech,” Villegas added.”

“You can understand my speech if you speak the language of silence. You can understand my silence if you know how to love like Him who was born one silent night,” he further said.

The feud between the Church and Duterte started during the campaign period when the incoming President cursed Pope Francis for causing traffic during his visit to Manila in January last year.

Duterte, among others, had also claimed that he and several of his classmates were sexually abused by a priest when they were studying at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Davao University.

Duterte also threatened to reveal the names of Catholic bishops who have become fathers to include the names and addresses of their children.

The CBCP, through Villegas, responded that “vulgarity is corruption” and lamented that people become “beastly and barbaric” when they still find it funny, alluding to Duterte without naming him.

“When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laugh, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen has gone to the dregs,” Villegas said.

A month before the May 9 election, Villegas, in an obvious reference to Duterte, also called on the faithful to be very careful in choosing their candidates to ensure that the next President and leaders of the country are truly excellent role models for the youth and to be the prime example for all public servants.

Villegas called on Catholics not to vote for an atheist or for someone who makes fun of the name of God, or for one who vows to wipe out religion from public life in reference to the First Commandment.

“The Catholic voter cannot and should not lend his support to any candidate whose ideology binds him or her to make of the Philippines a secular state that has no tolerance for religion in its public life. Ang tunay na makabayan ay maka-Diyos [Those who are truly nationalistic are also godly],” Villegas added.



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  1. Anak ni Daguhoy on

    Check out this paragraph that the reporter Willima B. Depasupil quoted from Bishop Villegas.

    “The Catholic voter cannot and should not lend his support to any candidate whose ideology binds him or her to make of the Philippines a secular state that has no tolerance for religion in its public life. Ang tunay na makabayan ay maka-Diyos [Those who are truly nationalistic are also godly],” Villegas added.

    This is exactly the mindset of an extremist. If Bishop Villegas was a Muslim he wouldn’t be a real Muslim; Villegas would be a extremist. Villegas doesn’t know what tolerance means. While he points at Duterte to be intolerant to the Church, he (Villegas) is totally blind to the fact that it has been the Catholic Church of the Philippines that has been intolerant to any form of social thought or movement that does not carry its brand of morality and worship.

    All laws, all social contracts, the basis of all rules and regulations that bring about fairness, peace and order is the welfare of the individual. The welfare, the happiness, the peace and order of the life of the individual should be the end purpose of all laws and governance. The practice of one particular religion is not a sure shot guarantee of these. If the CBCP be a voice in the governance of the Philippines, so should be the Muslims, the Jewish people in the Philippines, the Buddhists, the HIndus.

    It is really embarrassing that Bishop Villegas sounds so ignorant about secularism.

  2. Anak ni Daguhoy on

    At last, a Filipino president who’s got the balls to stand up against the biggest gang organization in the Philippines. Let the Catholic Church pays taxes. And if and when it meddles with affairs of the state, let it be Fined it heavily. Hold it up to its own moralistic values.

    And who was “born one silent night”, Jesus; the Bishop says? If the Bishop studied some Theology at all, he would have known that to this day, there is no proof that there was ever a star of Bethlehem, or that there was ever three kings or three wise men, or that in the registry of births during Herod’s administration was there no one-particular child by the name of Jesus.

    And . . . “silence of Jesus before the arrogance of [Pontius] Pilate”? Maybe Bishop Villegas should be reminded that Catholicism is ROMAN. Two thousand years ago some guy had his own version of Judaism that went viral amongst the Jews. And because the Jews were slaves of the Romans (who were pagans), some of the Romans got wind of it and thought it was cool too. So, they used this new cool Jewish idea to RULE THE JEWS. Let the Bishop look up the Old Latin root word of “Catholic” and he will find that it can mean “universal”, “standard”, or “required”. That was because the (pagan) ROMAN EMPIRE was the world power then and it used this new cool Jewish idea as a psy-ops for its imperial conquest (that is why up until today the Philippines pays tithes to Rome) -it was required, forced, imposed on all of the peoples it conquered. The bedrock of Roman Catholicism is the (pagan) Roman System (duh!). Tell the Bishop, that without Pontius Pilate’s rule, without the pagan culture that he imposed on the conquered Jews, there would be no Roman Catholic Christians in the Philippines today.

  3. Juan T. Delacruz on

    President-elect Duterte expressed his disagreements with the Catholic Church, and he is absolutely right when he said that the Roman Catholic Church is the most hypocritical institution in the country, and they are the one to be blamed on the country’s over population. The Church disagree on everything that would help control the population, like the funding of the RH Bill. Duterte should draw the line, separating Religion and the State. The battle just got started and I think Duterte will finish it.

  4. Josemakabayan on

    Dont be afraid of a dog that always bark and threatens to attack because surely that dog is more afraid of you, that is why it does that???
    Nanduduro baga sa local lingo!!!!
    And one more thing a guy or girl na takot sa multo ay dahil sya may gawa sa mga ito, and takot sya mabweltahan ng mga ito!!!!