Amid outrage from the majority Catholic community in the Philippines over his ‘blasphemous’ remarks about God, President Rodrigo Duterte has added fuel to the fire.
In a clarification late on Monday, Duterte said he was referring to the ‘stupid’ God of his ‘critics’ last week and not the one he believed in “who has a lot of common sense.”
Among the so-called ‘critics’ Duterte hinted at was the Catholic Church which, on several occasions in the past, had condemned alleged human rights violations during the president’s ‘bloody war’ on drugs that began soon after he took office.
Catholics had staged several ‘Walk for life’ protests against vigilante-style killings of drug suspects in the streets and other rights violations.
As Catholics were smarting under the second blow from Duterte questioning their God, a third one landed from Malacañang Palace, the presidential office, which said the Church must apologise for the wrongdoings of priests to all their victims including Duterte who was molested by an American Jesuit priest when he was a school student in his home city, Davao.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque defended Duterte’s speech laced with profanities in Davao last week. Roque said the president may have been angry when he remembered the humiliating school incident.
Duterte’s second attack on the Catholic community came while he was addressing a gathering at the inauguration of newly-elected village chairpersons on Monday. Questioning the Story of Creation again, he said the creation of the first woman, Eve, was “the greatest mistake of God.”
Last week, he said God must have been stupid for allowing temptation to destroy His very creation.
Adam ate the fruit of knowledge and malice was born. The president said he cannot believe in a “stupid God” who created something perfect and destroyed the quality of His work.
About the rationale of original sin, Duterte said that was committed by parents when one was not born yet. He said he cannot accept such beliefs.
The president said he believes in a universal Being who is more supreme than the rest of the gods of men. It is this Being which controls billions and trillions of stars in the galaxy and prevents the Earth from exploding.
Duterte has consistently attacked priests and bishops in the Philippines by accusing them of hypocrisy, corruption and womanising.