Duterte Calls Catholic Priests 'Homosexuals' - Urges Citizens to 'Kill Them'
Philippines president says Catholic Church is 'full of useless fools' during speech
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed out at the Catholic Church once again, this time declaring that most priests and bishops are "homosexuals" who worship a "stupid" God, before urging his citizens to "kill them."
The Filipino president slammed Church leaders as "useless fools" during a speech on Wednesday in response to opposition to his controversial policies from high-ranking clergy members.
After the Catholic bishops cast doubt on Duterte's extrajudicial drug war, the outspoken politician branded the religion as "the most hypocritical institution."
He also claimed that 90 percent of priests are homosexuals who lack any standing to "postulate on my morality," before exhorting his people to "kill them" during the fiery speech.
Seeming to address the Vatican directly, President Duterte reiterated his point again, in no uncertain terms, saying:
"These bishops that you guys have, kill them. They are useless fools. All they do is criticize."
According to RT, Catholic authorities have been among the most outspoken critics of Duterte's extrajudicial war on drugs, which opposition senator Antonio Trillanes claims has caused more than 20,000 deaths since the president took power in July 2016.
Duterte's administration claims those numbers are wildly exaggerated - an official government report published in October puts the death toll at 4,999 since 2016.
Human rights groups have also criticized the crackdown for targeting the poor instead of the kingpins responsible for the drug trade.
Citing their moral obligation to oppose murder, the Church has even extended assistance to some of the victims and survivors of Duterte's heavy-handed campaign against drugs and crime.
These comments inspired Duterte to accuse Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of corruption and dealing drugs himself, even threatening him with decapitation while mocking his religious beliefs.
The Catholic Church has urged Duterte to tone down the rhetoric after three Catholic priests were killed last December "because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests."
Unrepentant, he instead called on Filipinos last week to build their own chapels instead of lining religious leaders' pockets, telling them, "You don't have to go to church to pay for these idiots."
Duterte, like 90 percent of Filipinos, was raised Catholic, and he clarified in a later speech to government officials that he is no atheist but merely believes in a different deity than the Catholics – one who "has a lot of common sense" instead of the "stupid God" who built original sin into a "perfect" creation.
Last month, Duterte mocked the International Criminal Court, dismissing its judges as "pedophiles," "drunkards," and "idiots" and threatening to slap one of its prosecutors as the Hague tribunal investigated him for crimes against humanity.
Jude Sabio, an attorney who plans to run for Senate next year, filed suit against Duterte in the ICC in May 2017 on charges related to the rising death toll of his drug war.