Bishops welcome Duterte’s effort reaching out to Church

By , on October 27, 2017

After he took office in June, Duterte put his country's territorial conflicts with China on the backburner and reached out to China in an effort to revive robust trading and seek Chinese economic aid. (SIMEON CELI JR./Presidential Photo)
FILE: President Rodrigo Duterte (SIMEON CELI JR./Presidential Photo)

MANILA — Catholic prelates welcomed the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he would want to establish “good rapport” with the members of the clergy.

According to Ozamiz Archbishop Martin Jumoad, leaders should have a good relationship with one another to be able to maintain peace and harmonious connections.

“Leaders must have a good relationship with one another because it motivates followers to work together for a common goal. Without good relationship among leaders leads to chaos and our country cannot move forward to progress and development,” he said.

The Ozamiz bishop noted that the statement of the President would be good for the image of the country.

“The gesture of President Duterte gives a good impact for our image in the international community,” he added.

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said the openness of the President to communicate with the Church is a good start.

“I’m happy. But he must listen to God’s word and respect every human life and treat all with dignity. But this is a good start,” he noted.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes believed that both the Church and the government need to have cooperation in promoting God’s law and the law of nature.

“The Church and the government are to cooperate in the promotion of true progress by following God’s law and the law of nature. Violation of these laws by the State hinders a true rapport with the Church,” he said.

“I do hope, but this good rapport does not mean that the Church will give up its most important role to be a prophet, reminding all people including government officials to respect the rights of God, of man and of nature,” Basted added

On Tuesday, Duterte said he would like to develop “good rapport” with the Church in the country.

The President made the statement after visiting the wake of late Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal at Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

The cardinal died on October 18 at the age of 86.

The Catholic Church has expressed opposition to some actions of the government particularly its fight against illegal drugs, among others.