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Duterte maintains he's a 'deeply religious man' despite quarrels with church.

By Genalyn Kabiling

He may have often lashed out at some Catholic bishops for alleged abuses but President Duterte still considers himself a "deeply religious" man.

Appearing on the television program of his friend evangelist Apollo Quiboloy Wednesday morning, the President admitted that he reads the Bible as his "guiding light" and may even have a "special bond" with the Lord.

"You might think that just because I quarrel with the cardinals and bishops that I am irreverent, I could be a sacrilegious guy, hindi kaya [I am not]. Kilala ako ni pastor [Pastor knows me] I am a deeply religious person, sa totoo lang [that's the truth.] And my guiding light, alam ni pastor [pastor knows], is the Bible," he said.

Duterte also mentioned anew his favorite book of Ecclesiastes about of a time for everything, and urged the public to read and understand the Bible verses too.

"If you can memorize by heart and understand Ecclesiastes 3, you can face any problem. You might not be able to solve it but you can understand why. Read Ecclesiastes when you have a problem," he said.

"When someone dies in your family, read it. There is time for every season under the sun. There is live, born and a time to die," he said.

In the same gospel tv program, Duterte talked about his "special bond" with the Lord mostly due to his mother. He recalled that when he was young, his mother forced him to kneel before the cross as punishment when he misbehaved.

"I was really brought up in a very disciplined environment. You know in a week's time, may three days ako nakaharap sa altar, kneeling down. Grabe mother ko [I knelt before the altar for three days. My mother was too much]," he said.

"I think I have a special bond with Jesus Christ. I told him we are both suffering. I don't know about yours but me, my mother, I will sue her one day," he said in jest.

After spending "120 hours" kneeling before the altar when he was a kid, Duterte said: "I know that God is with me."

The President has been at odds with the Catholic Church after some bishops have criticized his brutal war on illegal drugs.

He previously described the Church as most hypocritical institution in the country, accusing some priests of corruption and other abuses. He has called the god of his critics as stupid and questioned some church doctrines including the story of creation and the Holy Trinity.

Recently, he urged the public to build their own chapels instead of going to church tainted with corruption and its teachings becoming "archaic."


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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Jul 17, 2019
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