MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday lashed out against the Catholic Church again, breaking his promise of not making anti-Church statements.
In a speech in Malacañang, Duterte explained his own concept of what God is, as opposed to the belief of Catholics.
“It’s only one God, God the Father. He’s not even the father. He's God, period,” he said.
The President then asked if there was a bishop in the audience, before threatening to “kick his ass.”
“Is there any bishop here? I want to kick your ass, and the priest,” Duterte asked, eliciting laughter from the audience composed of businessmen and industry leaders.
“I'll tell you, the most hypocritical institution in the Philippines is the Catholic Church,” the President claimed, before attributing that his statement came from his Cabinet Secretary, former priest Leoncio Evasco Jr.
Duterte also rehashed his criticisms against the Church, which included his alleged experience of being molested by Catholic priests when he was a boy.
The President also mocked Catholics’ practice of venerating saints during town fiestas.
The President also joked about having a new religion - the Iglesia ni Rodrigo.
“My religion does not limit anything. All you can do is… Do not believe in hell. When you die you are just a piece of carcass and that's it. There's no more hell --- about hell --- burning in hell? You cannot burn a soul,” he said.