President Rodrigo Duterte, who has had a sour relationship with the church, questioned a new in a speech late Friday some of the basic tenets of the Catholic faith, including the concept of original sin, which he said taints even innocent infants and can only be removed through baptism in a church for a fee.
“Where is the logic of God there?” Duterte asked in a speech at the opening of a science and technology event in southern Davao city.
The 73-year-old leader said that if there’s “one single witness” who can prove, perhaps with a picture or a selfie that a human was “able to talk and to see God,” he will immediately resign.
Duterte lamented in that speech that Adam and Eve’s sin in Christian theology resulted in all the faithful falling from divine grace.
“Who is this stupid God? This son of a bitch is then really stupid,” he said last week. “You were not involved but now you’re stained with an original sin … What kind of a religion is that? That’s what I can’t accept, very stupid proposition.”
Opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV shot back at Duterte by describing him as “one evil man” and his remarks as “very much consistent with the deceitfulness, heartlessness, and ruthlessness of his policies.”
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has defended his remarks, saying Duterte has the right to express his opinion on religion and cited the president’s previous disclosure that he was once sexually abused by a priest. Duterte on Friday recalled that experience when he said he and other students were fondled by a foreign Jesuit priest, who has since died.
He once called Pope Francis a “son of a bitch” for sparking a monstrous traffic during a 2015 visit in Manila that trapped Duterte for hours.
Some Catholic bishops have been critical of Duterte’s brutal crackdown against illegal drugs, which have left thousands of suspects dead in reported clashes with the police, along with his vulgar speeches.