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Ignore Duterte tirades archbishop says

Manila (UCAN): In a New Year message framed as an open letter to his godson, Seth, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, former head of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines, called on people to ignore repeated rants against the Church by the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.
 
“Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to church and attend Mass. Whoever teaches you that is an anti-Christ and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke,” the archbishop.
 
In his message, Archbishop Villegas said he feared the child “might (learn) the wrong values.”
 
Although Duterte was not explicitly named, the message clearly referred to the president’s statements. 
 
The archbishop told his godson to always treat women and girls with respect and reverence.
 
“Do not laugh when older men make fun of women. That is vulgar and if you laugh or imitate them, you become vulgar yourself,” he said.
 
“Rape is not a joke. Immodesty is not laughing matter. Respect girls and women always. You have no excuse to abuse women specially poor women,” the archbishop said in what was seen as criticism of a 29 December 2018 speech in which Duterte said he had sexually assaulted a housemaid when he was a teenager. The presidential spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, later said the president’s comments were made in jest.
 
Duterte drew flak from various groups for calling God stupid and for suggesting that people should not go to church to attend Mass.
 
The president vowed to continue attacking the Church until it “corrects itself,” adding, “If not, I will remain its opponent … and I will continue to attack it.” 
 
Duterte, who claims to have been molested by a priest when he was a student, called on Church leaders not to use the “platform of religion” to criticise him.
 
However in his message, Archbishop Villegas said, “We are not spotless like angels but in our weaknesses, God still uses us for his mission.”

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