In his latest verbal attack on the Roman Catholic Church, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte predicted that “this church will disappear in almost 25 years” and that “people will forget it”.
“When they get horny, the sons of b****es, they go after nuns. If they’re gay, they go after young boys. Who needs a religion like that?” Duterte told a public gathering in the Philippine capital Manila on Monday.
Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo was quick to clarify the president’s remarks which he claimed were a “healthy criticism” referring to “certain men in the cloth that have violated their own vows”.
Panelo voiced hope that “it will help the Catholic Church cleanse itself and purge itself of those not deserving to be there”.
Duterte, who says that he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a boy, argued in January that most of Catholic bishops are “gay” who “should come out in the open, cancel celibacy and allow them to have boyfriends”.
In December, Duterte called on his countrymen to kill the country's Catholic bishops who he claimed were little more than “useless fools”.
He also described the Catholic Church as "the most hypocritical institution", arguing that his God is different from the one Catholics believed in.
In November, the Philippine Star newspaper reported that Duterte hit out at Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan, saying that he suspects the cleric is “into illegal drugs”.
Right now, more than 80 per cent of Filipinos identify themselves as Roman Catholic.