- CBCP will release its statement in response to the attacks made by presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte
- Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz urged Duterte to present evidence against erring clergy
- As stated by Cruz, the Catholic Church will not tolerate any wrongdoings committed by priests and bishops
“If he knows anything, he should reveal these things. It’s OK. The Catholic Church will not fold, because of his disclosures.”
This was the strong conviction made by retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz as he further urged presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to present evidence against erring clergy.
An article written by Jocelyn R. Uy which was published on Philippine Daily Inquirer stated that Cruz asked Duterte to proceed in disclosing whatever wrongdoings of priests and bishops he knows so the Church could prosecute them.
In stating this, Cruz said they are not worried about the impact of Duterte’s disclosures as the Catholic Church had gone through and survived more difficult times.
The slight rift started after the tough-talking Duterte blasted the Catholic Church as “the most hypocritical institution” and accused some of its bishops of corruption for asking favors from politicians, including him.
As such, Duterte questioned the relevance of the Catholic bishops; further citing his overwhelming victory in the elections despite efforts by them to persuade people not to vote for him.
In relation, Duterte accused some of the bishops of violating their vow of celibacy by getting married or keeping women and seeking favors like cars from politicians.
Meanwhile, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the CBCP president, who decline to comment, said that a statement would be released during the ordination of Bishop-elect Enrique Macaraeg at St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Dagupan City.
Cruz, on the other hand, stressed that the Church will not tolerate any wrongdoings committed by priests and bishops.
“The Church has a built-in mechanism to cleanse its own ranks or the clergy. I know that because that is my work,” Cruz was quoted saying; further noting that: “This mechanism sees to it that churchmen keep their promises and if they violate them, the Church will impose penalty according to its laws,” he said.
However, other clergy said they were saddened and appalled by Duterte’s public condemnation of the Church; something rare in the Philippines which a bastion of Catholicism in Asia.