Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte thinks so. Duterte railed against the hypocrisy of the Church in a speech he delivered Monday asserting, as a matter of fact, that the hallowed institution is full of the proverbial brown stuff.
Church officials have been vocal in condemning the extrajudicial killings that had attended the administration’s crackdown on the narcotics trade.
According to Mr. Duterte, he and the Catholic church officials have the same sin— that of womanizing. He noted that one bishop— Bishop Teodoro Bacani— had two wives like him.
But unlike the church leaders, he is not corrupt, he said.
He chided them for asking for a Pajero during the time of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
“Shouldn’t you be ashamed of yourselves? That’s so expensive and so many people have nothing to eat,” he said.
Is what Duterte says about the Church true?
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First of all, Duterte ought to be given credit for issuing a less-than-polite statement about this much-feared institution. Filipino politicians have long applied disproportionate deference to the Philippines’ Roman Catholic Church and its cabal of officers comprising the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). This is because aside from dispensing spiritual services, the Church had also acted as the Philippines’ king-maker much the same was as it had done in medieval Europe using Sunday masses and other religious services to disseminate political propaganda.
Such has been polticians’ deference to the Church that much-needed population control measures including improved education surrounding reproductive health and support for couples seeking access to artificial contraceptives had remained blocked for decades. The resulting explosion in the population of the Philippines over the last half century has been blamed on this lack of proper legislation to support reproductive health and family planning.
Coming back to the question of how much of the brown matter is contained within the institution and its officers is in the abject inconsistency of the Church’s message. The Church sees itself as being aligned with the sentiments of progressives and liberals. But this contradicts the conservatism of its fundamental underpinning dogma. While liberals fancy themselves as open minded, inclusive, and non-judgmental about people’s chosen lifestyles, Church scripture and dogma is crystal clear on what is sin, who is a sinner, and the punitive action God delivers to the guilty.
As such, any effort of any sitting Church official — from lowly parish priests up to his holiness The Pope himself — to come across as hipster-like (going about bandying trendy new-age concepts of openness and libsplaining stuff to rednecks and probinsyanos) comes across as, well, full of shit.
I guess that answers the question then.
President Duterte doesn’t really come across as being full of shit when he asserts that the Catholic Church is full of shit.
It’s simple, really.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.