Priest-Dean Responds to Duterte’s Catholic Church ‘Most Hypocritical Institution’ Comment

Duterte Catholic Church most hypocritical

A San Beda priest-dean has responded to the recent statement of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte that the Catholic Church is the most hypocritical institution. In his lenghty post at Rappler published this Monday, May 23, Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino acknowledged that bishops and priests are sinful, and it is not a subject for debate.

This Sunday, President-elect Duterte during an interview with reporters in Davao City slammed the bishops who urged the Filipinos not to vote for him in the recent elections. The tough-talking mayor also dubbed the Catholic Church as the most hypocritical institution, and challenged the bishops to a debate to discuss the “sins of the church.”

As a response, Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, Dean of the Graduate School of Law, San Beda College, said that the Philippine Constitution guarantees the citizens of the country the freedom of religion and that religious organizations also have the right to criticize the government. So far, there are roughly 76 million Catholic Filipinos, or around 82.9% of the population.

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“The sinfulness of priests and bishops is not in debate. They are sinful. We are. And the Church has, both universally and locally, publicly acknowledged its sinfulness and the transgressions of its leaders. There is no need to take this up in a public debate.” Fr. Ranhilio Callangan Aquino, Dean of the Graduate School of Law, San Beda College wrote.

“The Church has been ashamed of the sinfulness of its members and has begged for forgiveness for the waywardness of its leaders. It has never boasted of its failings!” Fr. Ranhilio Aquino, who is also the Chair of the Department of Jurisprudence and Legal Philosophy of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), added.

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“As for silencing religion in the arena of public discourse, that, too, misunderstands the nature of discourse, of collective will-formation and of consensus. Citizens of the Republic are Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and members of other faith-communities.” The San Beda Dean said, as his views on the issue of separation of Church and State.

Fr. Ranhilio Aquino noted that the Catholic Church has opened its doors to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, especially when the efforts of the Philippine government was not sufficient. He also mentioned the presence of Catholic universities and colleges. Nevertheless, the priest emphasized that the Church will never take credit on them.

Priest response Duterte Catholic Church

Part of response of Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino to the “Catholic Church as most hypocritical institution” comment of incoming President Duterte; Screenshot Credit:

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