President Duterte is set to have a one-on-one dialogue with Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Davao Archbishop President Romulo Valles following the Chief Executive’s rants against God and the Church.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, after a one-hour, no holds barred meeting with Papal Nuncio Gabriel Giordano Caccia Friday at the Apostolic Nunciature in Manila, said that they agreed that the State and Church should work as one for the people and that Duterte would hold a dialogue with Valles.
“Had an hour with him but we agreed to keep it private,” Roque said. “No holds barred,” he added.
“In my meeting with the Papal Nuncio yesterday night, it was agreed that both State and Church should work together for the benefit of the people,” Roque said. “It was also agreed that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will have one-on-one dialogue with the President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. The Papal Nuncio also welcomes further meetings with PRRD.”
Roque had earlier said that it would be good for both Duterte and Valles to meet as they have a common ground – they are both from Davao City. “I don’t think the Church will ever stand in judgment on the sincerity of anyone. At least I believe as much in the Church. So if it’s a President to President meeting, good because they are both from Davao,” he said.
Valles, in response to Duterte’s scathing remark against God and the Church, urged the faithful to love and protect their faith and to reflect on their long-held beliefs. “My brothers and sisters, love and protect your faith. This is what makes us closer to the Church,” Valles said in a statement.
“Don’t forget that you have experienced how wonderful, valuable, powerful, our faith is – our relationship with God, Virgin Mary, and the Church,” he added. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)