Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte appears determined to lock horns with the Roman Catholic Church by going against its beliefs.
The Davao City strongman recently revealed his plan to impose a three-child policy for each family, knowing full well that 80 percent of our 100-million population are Catholics who are supposedly opposed to abortion and the use of contraceptives.
Since something has to be done with the country’s overpopulation, Duterte disclosed that he would defy the opinion of the Church in enforcing the policy.
Just a day before, he condemned the Church for being the “most hypocritical institution” and meddling in government policies.
At one point, he even accused some bishops of enriching themselves at the expense of the poor.
To some, Duterte may still be venting his anger since some bishops spoke out against him during the campaign period.
But that period is over and done with. As the next leader of the land, Duterte ought to portray himself as a man of the people working for reconciliation and unity, and not the other way around.
The tough-talking official already showed his concern on an issue that has long divided the country by announcing last Monday that he would allow the burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
On the same day, Duterte expressed his belief that former President Gloria Arroyo should be released and that he is ready to grant her pardon.
If Duterte can forge unity among the people on such sensitive matters, some people want to know if he can also drop the seemingly war-like approach on some issues involving Catholic prelates.
Undeniably, his recent poll victory showed that the people support him despite his open admission of having killed criminals and being a womanizer, both of which run counter to the teachings of the Church.
More clashes are expected with Duterte’s brazen defiance of the Catholic Church and its beliefs on sensitive issues such as the legalization of divorce, intended distribution of contraceptives, and restoration of the death penalty.
The Catholic Church has only given its support to natural family planning methods and nothing more. But Digong believes that what the Bible teaches is no longer relevant to society, thus his three-child policy.
Many of us may vary in our beliefs or religion but, hopefully, we are united in respecting the right to life of an unborn child.
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