- Archbishop Villegas broke his silence on President-elect Duterte’s attacks against the Catholic Church
- He highlighted the value of silence instead of engaging in a word war
- “Wisdom is knowing when it is time for silence and when is the timing for speech.” -Villegas
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas broke his silence on Sunday, June 4 on the recent attacks of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte against the Catholic Church.
However, Villegas did not engage in a word war with Duterte but highlighted the value of silence instead.
CBCP News quoted him as saying in his message titled “Understanding Silence: “Mine is the language of peace that refuses the dark magic of revenge. Mine is the silence of respect for those who consider us their enemies but whose good we truly pray for and whose happiness we want to see unfold.”
“There is virtue in silence. There is virtue in speech. Wisdom is knowing when it is time for silence and when is the timing for speech.”
Duterte dubbed the Catholic Church as the “most hypocritical institution.”
He told reporters in Davao City last May that the CBCP released a pastoral letter a few days before the national elections in a bid to dissuade the voting public from voting for him.
“They campaigned against me, everybody was saying ‘Do not vote for Duterte.’ Fine. I said, let this election be a referendum between me and the Catholic Church… Sabi ko, this will be a referendum kung sinong tama sa atin. (who is right between us) Look, were you able to stop me?” he was quoted by ABS-CBN News previously.
According to an article written by Aries Joseph Hegina for Philippine Daily Inquirer, Duterte said he could spend his six years as president in exposing the alleged abuses of the Catholic Church.
“I can sit the whole six years of the presidency exposing you and attacking you. I can lose my life and honor anytime. I will not die if I don’t become President,” he said.