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  • Gene Alcantara

Duterte launches war against the Catholic Church

"We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor." These words appear to be the new battlecry of the Catholic Church in the Philippines as it suffers from the first casualties inflicted by President Rodrigo Duterte on the majority religion of the country. Right at the beginning of his administration, 2 years ago, Duterte started signalling his distaste for a religion that has sustained most Filipinos throughout the last centuries. He swore at the Pope, the holiest person among Catholics and head of the religion in the Vatican, for creating traffic on the streets. This was not the first time Duterte has attacked other religions. In September 2016, he compared himself to Adolf Hitler in his "war on drugs" -- “Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” This created an international outcry and Duterte apologised. Since then Duterte has been swearing constantly at the Catholic Church and its senior officers in the Philippines, rejoicing whenever some scandal befell the church. More recently three Catholic priests have been gunned down in their own churches in an escalation of the war on the Catholic Church. To add insult to injury, in the first priest murder, Duterte "exposed" the dead priest's personal life with accusations of impropriety, which the dead priest of course could not counter. The verbal persecution did not end there. In South Korea, Duterte was waving a book against the Catholic Church and was using it to entice women to the stage, one of whom he sexually assaulted by kissing her on the lips before giving her a copy of the book. It will be remembered that the Catholics, led by then Cardinal Sin, and the nuns and priests, played a crucial role in the People Power revolution in 1986 which toppled the Marcos dictatorship and ushered in a new era of democracy which lasted for 30 years. That hard-fought for democracy is now being trampled upon by Duterte and it appears that he is now trying to emasculate the Catholic Church to prevent it from rising against him. The Catholic Church is known for its peaceful activities in the face of challenges, through prayers, fasting, abstinence, and the ringing of bells. But it has had a bloody history when the Catholic Church was involved in the Inquisition, and it had Templar Knights who were involved bloody fighting in Crusades (religious wars). Will the church remain docile and meek in the face of a Duterte administration intent on its destruction? The latest tirade of Duterte is to swear at a "stupid God". Please see --

A meme of this has gone viral.

With Duterte now swearing at the God of the Christians, the God of the Catholics, then how will the Catholic Church respond? Gene Alcantara London ****** Please share this post from Fr. Soc in your other groups. Thanks. WILL NO ONE RELIEVE ME OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST? (King Henry II) Message to the People of God by the Clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on June 12, 2018 Our dear people of God: They are killing our flock. They are killing us the shepherds. They are killing our faith. They are cursing our Church. They are killing God again as they did in Calvary. Killing is the solution. Killing is the language. Killing is the way. Killing is the answer. Killing is encouraged. Killing is their job. Killers are rewarded. Killers boast of their murders. They kill in the streets. They kill inside homes. They kill in tricycles and jeeps. They kill in plazas. They kill in the malls. They kill in the chapels. The nation is a killing field. They kill everywhere. They are happy to kill. But we are not a nation of killers. Are you still clapping? Are you still laughing? You still find it funny? You still think “Dapat lang”? Are you still saying “Pagbigyan natin”? Are you still saying our people feel safer now? Are you still saying this is the best government we ever had? Is this the change you want? Are these the changes you dream of? Are you still saying “There are some good things happening! Focus on the good”? If they curse us again for speaking up, we will not be surprised. Are you afraid to talk? You think silence is a virtue? You think we your shepherds should sow unity by being like the monkeys who see and speak and hear no evil? You think we can be the next target if we speak? Do you still care? Where is your faith? You talk in whispers. You are afraid to be heard? Have we become numb and dumb? “Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” said King Henry II about Saint Thomas Becket. Like blind fanatics, the knights of the King went to the Cathedral, searched for the Archbishop, hacked him and split his skull to make the King happy but the king was unnerved instead. The King became penitent and offered penance. The murderers were disgraced. Today, the murderers are commended and the king is undisturbed. We your Archbishop, the Bishop Elect of Bayombong and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, represented by our Vicars Forane, say together: We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor. They want to bury us priests. But they forget that we priests are seeds. When you bury us, we will grow more and flourish. You cannot stop the Gospel from growing. You cannot stop God from being God. You cannot muzzle the voice of Truth. Killing is a sin. It is all wrong. This is not Filipino. This is not Christian. This is not how our parents taught us. The earth, soiled by the blood of Father Mark Ventura, Father Tito Paez and Father Richmond Nilo, is crying. The bloodied soil is crying to heaven for justice. God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests. We declare a Day of Reparation in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan on June 18th, the ninth day of the death of Father Richmond Nilo. 1. All the Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan will be offered as reparation for the sins of blasphemy against God, the sins of sacrilege and calumny hurled against our priests and bishops; the murders that continue without relent. The Mass presiders are to wear the penitential color of violet. It will be a day of fasting and abstinence for the priests, religious and lay faithful of our Church. 2. The parish priests should expose the Blessed Sacrament for one hour at a time most convenient for the parishioners to adore and make reparation. The priests must go to confession and in turn, hear the confessions of the faithful on this day too. 3. All the parish church bells should ring for fifteen minutes at six o’ clock in the evening on June 18th to commemorate the time when Father Richmond Nilo was killed. 4. The image of the Santo Entierro or the Black Nazarene should be brought out in procession in the evening of June 18th to close the Day of Reparation. 5. The seminarians of Mary Help Christians Seminaries will lead a dawn penitential pilgrimage on foot from San Jacinto Parish Church at 4:30am to the Basilica of Manaoag. We encourage the youth to join. We call on you brother priests from the other dioceses and religious congregations to join us if your bishops and religious superiors so agree. Let us implore the grace of God to touch the heart of the President of the Philippines to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests. We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our leaders in government may arrest the further erosion of law and order in the country and restore respect for human life and human dignity, keeping in mind that they are “the king’s good servants but God’s first” (Saint Thomas More). We beg the Lord to wake up our people, now walking in darkness and numbed by fear, to stand up for the Lord and courageously correct error and sin. May we find among our lay people the readiness to work actively for social and political changes grounded in Catholic moral teachings and Christian social ethics. By the rosaries at EDSA 1986, we cast the dictator from his throne. Courage is contagious. Cowardice stinks. Prayer heals. Penance revives the dead. If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14). From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, June 12, 2018 +SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan +JOSE ELMER I MANGALINAO Bishop Elect of Bayombong Father Alvin Gerald Platon Vicar General and Chancellor Msgr. Oliver Mendoza Moderator Curiae and Economus Msgr. Manuel Bravo Minister for Evangelization Vicar Forane of Saint Vincent Ferrer Father Allan Lopez, OP Episcopal Vicar for Religious Father Winston Estrada Vicar Forane of Saints Peter and Paul Father Hernan Caronongan Vicar Forane of Epiphany of the Lord Father Estephen Mark Espinoza Vicar Forane of Saint Thomas Minister for Social Action Father Antonio Ray Quintans Vicar Forane of Saint Dominic Father Kristoffer Allan Soriano Judicial Vicar and Vice Chancellor Father Eric Galivo Minister for Worship

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