Bishop Villegas warns godson: 'They who call God stupid are anti-Christ'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2019 11:17 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2019 09:54 AM

MANILA - Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has an important advice for his godson.

In an open letter addressed to his godson and published on his Facebook account, Villegas, former president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), warned against those who speak ill of the Catholic Church.

He also said those who say it is useless to go to church and attend Mass is anti-Christ.

"My first advice to you is pray constantly and go to Mass as frequently as you can, if possible even daily. Do not listen to him who tells you it is useless to go to Church and attend Mass. Whoever teaches you that is anti-Christ and there are many of them, including those who look at it is a joke. They are not for Christ. They are against Christ," Villegas wrote.

The bishop told his godson never to disrespect the name of God.

"Inaanak, the name of God is sacred. Promise me never ever to disrespect the name of God. You might not be able to understand God always. Our minds are too limited. Do not force the infinite God to fit into our limited minds. They who call God stupid are anti-Christ. Pray for these people but do not imitate them. Respect them as elders but do not follow their bad example," Villegas wrote.

Villegas also told his godson to respect all women, and advised him not to laugh when others are making fun of rape and sexual abuse.

"Do not laugh when older men make fun of women. That is vulgar and if you laugh or imitate them, you become vulgar yourself. Rape is not a joke. Immodesty is not laughing matter. Respect girls and women always. You have no excuse to abuse women specially the poor women," he wrote.

Villegas, likewise, advised his godson against "dirty words" and drugs.

"Never call people names nor use cuss words even as expressions. Dirty words that come out of your mouth—foul language, lies, gossips, slander, malicious jokes—make you crass and ungentlemanly. Shameless crass people use such dirty words. Do not imitate. They are anti-God; they cannot be honorable. God wants you to be refined and honorable. I have great dreams for you."

"Do not ever try drugs. Say no to friends who might offer you drugs. You kill yourself slowly by doing that. Drug users and drug addicts are sick. They need treatment and help in order to be well again. Do not believe those who offer killing as a solution. People who kill and people who coax others to kill are anti-God. They are anti-Christ. Christ came to give us new life, eternal life," Villegas wrote.

Finally, Villegas asked his godson to always respect the Pope, the bishops and priests.

"Finally Seth, respect the Pope and my fellow priests and bishops because we are signs of God’s love for you. We are not spotless like angels but in our weaknesses, God still uses us for His mission. Walang silbi? Yes we are but if we are able to do anything good at all, all is because of God’s mercy. In mocking priests and bishops, you do what antiChrists do. Be a loyal son of the Catholic Church," he wrote.

Although Villegas did not name names, the issues he mentioned in his open letter are related to the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who has always been vocal of his criticism of the Catholic Church.

Before he was elected president, Duterte cursed Pope Francis after his visit to Manila caused horrible traffic in the nation’s capital.

Duterte has also previously hit Catholic teachings, tagged priests and bishops in alleged corruption and abuse, and even called God "stupid."

Addressing Duterte’s allegations, Villegas said that although the Church has always been marred by the sinfulness of its members, the 2,000-year-old institution derives its holiness from Christ, not its leaders.

The Church has also spoken out against Duterte's war on drugs.