A million Dutertes can’t destroy the Catholic Church —bishops
Reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s incessant reproach to the Church, Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes on Church-run Radyo Veritas said Saturday that the Lord Jesus had made an assurance that even the “gates of hell” would fail to destroy her.
“The Lord Jesus said to Peter that not even the gates of hell can destroy the Church. Napoleon thought he could destroy it but failed! A million of Duterte’s will never succeed in harming it. Everything will be passé but the Church will give way only to the dawning of God’s Kingdom, whose image on earth is the Catholic Church,” Bishop Bastes said on Radyo Veritas.
For his part, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said of Duterte’s chastisements: “That is his wish. Many others before wished and tried vehemently to put an end to the Church. They never succeed these two thousand years.”
Also on Radyo Veritas, Arguelles and Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David said that instead of weakening, attacks on the Church would only make her strong.
“Attacks from outside never weaken but further strengthen the church. Weakness (immorality, sensuality, infidelity, materialism) especially of its leaders enfeebles the Church but can never end it, because while the members if Christ struggle so much against human weakness Christ Himself is God,” Arguelles said.
Passé in 30 years?
Duterte last Thursday said that the Catholic Church will be passé in 30 years due to the abuses of the clergy.
“A lot of people have said the same thing many centuries ago. Some have even tried to destroy the Catholic Church. Well, it appears that not even the sins and weaknesses of its own members could destroy the Church (so far) … She is like a mustard seed, or a little lamp in the dark, or a pinch of salt in a pot of stew, or a little leaven in a mass of dough. She remains in existence, not because of us, or perhaps even in spite of us. Only Jesus Christ keeps the Church alive. I mean to say that in all humility,” David said.
At the oath-taking of government officials in Malacañang, Duterte called the media and the Church “oligarchs” of society, and that the Church would likely only last for 30 years. —LBG, GMA Nnews
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Not even a million Dutertes can destroy the Church–CBCP
Not even a million President Dutertes will succeed in bringing down the Catholic Church, as officials of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines dismissed Duterte’s prediction that the Church will become irrelevant in 30 years.
Sorsogon bishop Arturo Bastes, chairperson of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Missions, said Jesus Christ has stressed that “not even the gates of hell can destroy the Church.”
“Napoleon (Bonaparte) thought he could destroy it but failed! A million of Dutertes will never succeed in harming it,” Bastes said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
He added that the President’s pronouncements are “nonsense” and should not be taken seriously, and that the best thing to do would be to ignore it.
“Everything will be passe but the Church will give way only to the dawning of God’s Kingdom, whose image on earth is the Catholic Church,” he said.
For his part, Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairperson of the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on the Laity, said the President’s statements have “no value.
“What he says has no value anyway since he does not seem to think these thoroughly,” he said.
The bishops made the comment in reaction to the President’s renewed tirades against the Church last Thursday, as he claimed that the institution will be passe because of its alleged abuses.
Duterte has a strained relationship with members of the clergy, constantly attacking them for alleged corruption and sexual abuses committed by some men of the cloth.
The Church, on the other hand, has stood up to the extra-judicial killings under the government’s war against illegal drugs, as well as the plan to lower the age of criminal responsibility.
It has also remained steadfast in objecting to the reinstatement of the death penalty for heinous crimes, and the implementation of the reproductive health law.
For Lipa archbishop emeritus Ramon Arguelles, outgoing chairperson of the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, many have tried to bring down the 2,000 year old Church but failed.
“That is his wish. Many others before wished and tried vehemently to put an end to the Church. They never succeed these two thousand years,” he said in an interview over Radio Veritas.
He maintained that attacks from outside will never weaken but will only strengthen the Church.
Kalookan bishop Pablo Virgilio David, who chairs the CBCP’s Permanent Committee on Cultural Heritage, agreed, saying many have tried to destroy the Church centuries ago but failed.
“Not even the sins and weaknesses of her members could destroy the Church,” David said, adding that the Church is more effective as a minority.