By Mario Casayuran
Senator Richard J. Gordon strongly advised on Friday a ceasefire and eventual dialogue between Catholic Church leaders and Malacañang officials on their verbal fight.
‘’There should be a modus vivendi (an agreement establishing a temporary compromise between two groups in a conflict),’’ Gordon said.
Gordon said Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Malacañang spokesman Salvador Panelo should sit down with Catholic Church leaders as there is no apparent end to the verbal tussle between President Duterte and some Church bishops.
The latest diatribe of President Duterte against priests is his claim that 80 percent of Catholic Church priests are gays.
‘’I don’t agree with the President when he does that. There should be civility,’’ he said.
‘’Right now we have to cleanse ourselves of these priests. They (priests) are doing foolish things with the children all over the world. That is why the Church is weakening,’’ he added.
Gordon said the Catholic Church has a gotten a superlative hand but has to earn it.
‘’Respect of our Christian values be maintained in a more reliable way,’’ he said.
After conceding that the Pope is clamping hard on erring priests or bishops, Gordon cited a bishop has a child in Antipolo city and that a property of a Catholic church in Aurora has been lost.
Nevertheless, Gordon said both sides should not go overboard and there must be civility between the two groups.
He said he does not encourage the President in verbally assaulting Church leaders or priests.
Duterte earlier threatened to kick bishops.
He also advised Catholics to stop going to Church.
Duterte likewise told priests and bishops to “shape up” as he continued his attacks against the Catholic Church, which he often described as the “most hypocritical institution” in the country.
He criticized priests once again, alleging they used the Church’s second collection during Mass to feed their families.