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Duterte confesses: I stopped as Catholic after priests’ abuse

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By Genalyn Kabiling

Under fire for his controversial statements about God, President Duterte has revealed that he stopped being a Catholic after enduring sexual abuse from a priest in high school.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 'merienda' he hosted for the rebel returnees at the Malacañan Palace on February 21, 2018, assures the surrenderees government support for them to be reintegrated back to the society. YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (YANCY LIM/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The President said after the “terrible” incident in school, he created his own God who values justice and fairness.

“Something terrible happened when we were young. It’s not really that serious. But fondling while confessing, we were being fondled so when I graduated, hindi na ako Katoliko. Hindi na ako Katoliko [I was no longer a Catholic. I was no longer a Catholic] at that age. I was not even in politics then,” Duterte said during the inauguration of Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City.

“But pag-graduate ko, I created my own God. ‘Yung nakikita kong values na justice [After graduation, I created my own God based on the values I have seen like justice] — what is justice, fairness — I have always said in Davao, ‘My God is my service to the people.’ Period,” he added.

The President earlier bared that the late Fr. Mark Falvey molested him and other high school students while studying at Ateneo de Davao University. The incident allegedly happened during the sacrament of penance or confession in school.

In his remarks last Saturday, the President clarified that he has a “deep and abiding faith in God” despite his recent tirades against some Catholic doctrines.

Duterte said his concept of God was based on not only his values but also the
“the lessons I learned in life, the hard ways” and “your capacity to seek someone who has — somewhere a universal mind.”

“”I do not think of my God as a God that is applicable dito. Otherwise there would be no widespread injustice: hunger, killings, and all,” said Duterte, who earlier claimed that his god was different from the god of his critics.

Duterte reiterated that he was ready to resign if anyone could prove the existence of the God of the Catholic Church with a selfie.

“If there is somebody of the so many billions, maybe if he can go there in heaven, talk to God, and magpa-selfie sila, at bumalik siya dito, at sabihin ng pari ‘There is God,’ I will step down tomorrow. No question,” he said.

The President earlier sparked anger from some Church leaders and other groups after calling God “stupid.” Duterte questioned the biblical teachings on creation, particularly why He created Adam and Eve but allow them to succumb to temptation.

Duterte later explained that his statement was directed at his critics in the Catholic Church. He said his God was perfect and more supreme than the gods of men.

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