Duterte not entirely to blame for anti-Church comments, says priest

Duterte not entirely to blame for anti-Church comments, says priest

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Media Office director Msgr. Pedro Quitorio gives the first session of the Catholic Social Media Summit v. 7 at Sienna College, Quezon City, Nov. 17, 2018. MICHAEL DALOGDOG

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

November 17, 2018

Quezon City, Philippines

Despite what many perceive to be President Rodrigo Duterte’s consistently anti-Church comments, a priest believes he should not entirely be blamed for not knowing what the Catholic Church does.

“I don’t entirely blame the president [for this anti-Church comments] because he is just one of the millions of Filipinos who don’t know what the Church does,” Msgr. Pedro Quitorio,  CBCP Media Office director,  said at the Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) v.7 at Sienna College in this city on Saturday.

Playing an audio recording of one of the President’s tirades against the Church and its hierarchy, Quitorio asked the CSMS attendees if Duterte’s comments made them angry or happy.

The priest revealed that Duterte’s attacks against the Church is actually a much-needed reality check.

‘The real score’

“Me, I’m happy [about the President’s comments.] It gives me the real score. We are doing so much in the Church but the people don’t know,” he stressed during the first session of the CSMS, “Strive first for the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Mt 6:33).

Quitorio, who also heads Areopagus Communications, said the public does not know what happens to Mass collections, for example, or that the Catholic Church built 30,000 houses for super typhoon Yolanda survivors.

“Who would know that that is what we do? I should know, because I’m from [a] ‘Yolanda’ area, I’m from Region 8. How many [houses] did the government do?” he said.

Billions in aid

According to Quitorio, people don’t know that the Catholic Church is easily the largest and greatest charity agency in the world because by nature it does not self promote.

“Nobody knows, nobody posts,” he added.

The Catholic Church, through its umbrella organization of Catholic charities all over the world, Caritas Internationalis, headed by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, allocated Php3.2 billion, helping 1.8 million people affected by typhoon “Yolanda.”