Setting the right perspective of celebrating 'All Saints' and 'All Souls' Day by dressing kids as saints and not as zombies, vampires, dracula and monsters - a parade of saints at the St. Gregory the Great Cathedral. (Photo from Diyosesis kan Legazpi/FB)

Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David urged everyone to pray for President Rodrigo Duterte because ‘he is a very sick man’ after the President regarded Catholic saints as “fools and drunkards”.

“Please remember, Jesus taught us 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”, Bishop David said in a post on November 2.

Bishop David stressed that there is nothing new about our saints being called “fools and drunkards”, even St. John the Baptist was called “devil-possessed”. Jesus himself was called a “glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Luke 7:33-35).

The apostles at Pentecost were also called “drunkards” (Acts 2:13),” the Bishop added.

He also reminded the faithful that “to be a Christian is to be ready to be branded as a “fool for Christ” and stated the verse in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of slander against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Anti-Catholic remarks

In a post-disaster conference held in Isabela on November 1, President Duterte slammed the Catholic Church a new saying that saints are fools and drunkards.

“Happy All Saints’ Day. Bakit naman… Sa bagay, itong tarantado talaga itong mga Katokilong p***. Bakit naman may All Souls’ Day tapos may All Saints’ Day?” the President said.

The President continued with his anti-Catholic slur by encouraging the audience to “get hold” of his picture and it set up in altars like a patron saint. He regarded himself as “Santo Rodrigo”.

“I’ll give you a patron. Get hold of a picture of mine. Iyan ang ilagay niyo sa altar, Santo Rodrigo,” he added.

President Duterte also regarded “God” as “stupid” while taunting the ‘story of creation’, which was also slammed by the Diocese of Legazpi through a pastoral statement entitled ‘The President is wrong’ issued on July 5, 2018, by Bishop Joel Baylon and the clergy.

The official message 

Meanwhile, in a separate signed message in Malacañang on the same date, the President said that Filipinos should “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.”

The President also called on the Catholic faithful to “remember our saints and our dearly departed loved ones, whose lives have deeply inspired us to grow in faith, hope, and love. We are reminded that, even in death, our bonds with them remain.”

He also wished “everyone a solemn and meaningful celebration.” (N.A. Cahinde)

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