DAVAO CITY, Philippines — He’s no priest, pastor or imam and therefore should not be taken seriously when he talks about or interprets the Bible or the Quran, Sara Duterte-Carpio said yesterday of her father President Duterte.
“Please do not listen to him interpret the Bible or Quran, he is not a priest, a pastor or an imam,” Carpio, mayor of this city, said in her Facebook page.
“I really do not understand why others listen to him interpret the Bible when he is not a priest, he is a President who is only expressing his opinion,” the mayor said in Cebuano.
The President drew widespread criticism for questioning the story of the creation in the Bible and for calling God “stupid” for letting temptation destroy His creation.
The President’s daughter said people should only listen to her father when he speaks about matters of governance.
“He is the President, listen only when he speaks about his work. And criticize him on his work not on his ‘talkalese,’’’ she added.
Carpio said the people should not waste energy criticizing the President’s personal opinion.
“He is protected by the constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression even if he is President,” she pointed out.
She also scoffed at the #babaeako campaign against her father, who has been drawing flak for his anti-women remarks.
“This is the first time I will say it out loud and I hate to admit it because I love my two brothers too much but yes, I am the favorite child, so that #babaeakocampaign is doomed,” the mayor added.
“What he doesn’t like lies not in the gender, but in the character, he has no respect for weakness. And many women and some men are known to be damsels in distress, that #babaeako included,” she said.
The #babaeako campaign aims to protest President Duterte’s anti-women pronouncements and raise greater awareness of women’s rights.
While Carpio was telling critics of her father to just ignore him in matters of religion, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is calling for sobriety among the faithful.
“We Catholics should respect non-Catholics and their religions. We also respect those who do not believe in God. All people should strive to respect those who differ from their beliefs,” Tagle said in a statement from Geneva where he is attending the United Nations Conference on Migrants and Refugees sponsored by the Vatican.
“Religions are not to be used for conflicts but for mutual understanding and peace,” Tagle said.
“Be at peace. Be calm. Don’t let things disturb your inner peace. Let us read the situation with the eyes of faith,” he told priests and the faithful.
Tagle explained that attacks on God and God’s ways are actually not new and are “as old as humanity and religions.”
He cited an incident during Pope Francis’ visit in 2015 when a young girl asked him, “Why does God allow children to suffer?”
“These questions are always raised and will continue to be raised. As a constructive step, perhaps we can invite our philosophers, scientists, theologians, bible scholars, catechists and social workers to revisit these concerns and present responses appropriate to our contemporary sensibilities. Maybe a renewed apologetics is needed for those who are sincerely searching for the truth,” Tagle said.
He stressed that instead of dwelling on the question of faith, the nation must address other pressing concerns like “increasing prices of goods, job security, exploitation of women and children, violence in homes and neighborhoods, different types of addictions, crimes, vulnerabilities of OFWs, the daily paralyzing traffic in big cities, flooding, reconstruction of destroyed cities, combatting terrorism, corruption and others.”
“We need to come together and contribute to positive responses according to each one’s capability. We cannot address these problems by just blaming someone,” he pointed out.
“Those who believe in God must work faithfully and joyfully for the Lord. Those who do not believe in God must serve out of human decency, generosity and concern for neighbors,” he stressed.
The Cardinal also asked priests to remind the faithful to rejoice always and celebrate faith.
“Sing loudly at mass. Pray fervently. Serve joyfully. Tell the world of God’s love for you. Be fools for Christ. Be at peace. God is the Savior. We do not need to save God. It is God who will save us,” he said. – Edu Punay / Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) – June 28, 2018 – 12:00am
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