Pray for Duterte, 'he is a very sick man' – Bishop David

The Caloocan bishop is reacting to comments made by President Duterte that Catholic saints are fools and drunkards

Published: 9:13 PM November 2, 2018

Updated: 12:08 AM November 3, 2018

‘SANTO RODRIGO.’ President Rodrigo Duterte tells an All Saints’ Day audience that Catholic saints are ‘gago’ and ‘lasenggo,’ so they should just place his photo at their altars. File photo by Ace Morandan/Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David called on Filipino Catholics to pray for the country and for President Rodrigo Duterte, who, he said, “is a very sick man.”

In a Facebook post Friday night, November 2, All Soul’s Day, David reminded Filipinos that among the teachings of Jesus Christ was “to be merciful when dealing with sick people.”

“I think it should be obvious to people by now that our country is being led by a very sick man. We pray for him. We pray for our country,” said David.

He was reacting to the comments made by Duterte during the latter’s visit on All Saints' Day, to Cauayan, Isabela, where he was briefed on the impact of Typhoon Rosita in the province.

"Bakit naman, sa bagay ito, tarantado talaga itong mga Katoliko, puta. Bakit may All Souls' Day tapos may All Saints' Day? Hindi nga natin alam 'yung mga santo, na kung sino mga gago na 'yun, mga lasenggo," Duterte said.

(The Catholics are crazy. Why is there All Souls' Day then All Saints' Day? We don't even know those saints, who those fools are, those drunkards.)

PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT. Diocese of Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David delivers the homily during a mass for the dead at the Old Chapel of the La Loma Catholic Cemetery on All Souls' Day, November 2, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Duterte then joked that Filipinos should just commemorate and honor one "patron" saint for the sake of convenience.

"Dito na lang kayo, I'll give you one patron para hindi na kayo magpasyal. Get hold of a picture of mine. 'Yan ang ilagay niyo sa altar: Santo Rodrigo," he said, making his audience roar in laughter. Those present in that briefing were Cabinet members, local government officials, and disaster management officials.

(Just opt for this, I'll give you one patron [saint] so you don't need to go elsewhere. Get hold of a picture of mine. Put it in the altar: Santo Rodrigo.)

Duterte’s jokes were in contrast to the statement released as the President’s official message on All Saints' Day. In that message, Duterte asked Filipinos to emulate the "virtuous example" of saints and the dearly departed.

"Together, let us emulate our saints, pray for the eternal repose of souls, and deepen our engagement with our communities as we work for real and lasting change," said the message.

David, vice president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said this was not the first time saints had been labeled “fools and drunkards.”

“Jesus himself was called a ‘glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners,’” said David, quoting Luke 7:33-35.

David said, to be a Christian is to be  ready to be branded as a “fool for Christ.” –