Bishop Pabillo says Duterte breached the separation of Church and State: 'he destroys the good name of a religion' - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Bishop Pabillo says Duterte breached the separation of Church and State: 'he destroys the good name of a religion'





Bishop Broderick Pabillo and President Rodrigo Duterte / composite photo from Google



Manila, Philippines – Opinionated Bishop Broderick Pabillo on a Facebook post discusses the separation of Church and State, saying that Church people, including religious leaders, “do not lose their citizenship”, therefore, they still have the right to participate in political matters.

Breach of the separation of Church and State

Pabillo, who is openly criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte said that separation of Church and State is there so that government treat all religions equally and to assure the freedom of religion for everyone.


“It also means that government officials and policies should respect the internal governance and policies of all religions as long as they do not create any public harm.” The bishop added

Pabillo condemned the president’s tirades telling the people to stop going to church, saying it was a breach of the separation of Church and State.

Persecution and diversion strategy

“What he does is already a form of religious persecution. And he does it unprovoked! He inserts his tirades in speeches which have nothing to do with the Church nor its practices at all.” He said

The prelate also said that Duterte’s act could also be his strategy to “divert the attention of the people to what is seriously wrong in the country.”

Bishop Broderick Pabillo’s full post reads:

Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State is often used to protest when religious leaders denounce government policies and government officials as they do injustice and oppress the people. But this is a wrong principle to invoke because Church people, even as religious leaders, do not lose their citizenship, therefore their right and duty, to participate in political matters for the sake of the common good. Besides, it is within the mandate of the Church to proclaim what is good and to denounce what is evil wherever these may be found.

The doctrine of separation of Church and State, in fact, has been laid down for the government in order that it may not favor one religion over the other, but should treat all legitimate religions equally. It also means that government officials and policies should respect the internal governance and policies of all religions as long as they do not create any public harm. This principle has been laid down in order to assure the freedom of religion of everyone. Each citizen has a right to join any religion and to practice it according to its teachings.

What can we say then if the very president of the country destroys the good name of a religion, or tells the adherents of that religion not to follow its practices and teachings, such as going to church? Is this not a breach of the principle of the separation of Church and State? And these are precisely what Duterte is doing! Nay, more! What he does is already a form of religious persecution. And he does it unprovoked! He inserts his tirades in speeches which have nothing to do with the Church nor its practices at all.

Are these tirades just outbursts of unresolved issues or hidden anger that lurk within his mind that he does not speak rightly anymore? If so, we should really pray for him and be afraid for our country. Pray for him, because he is not in his right senses; pray for our country, because we have someone in the helm who is mentally or emotionally sick.

But no! These tirades can also be deliberately planned. They are strategies to divert the attention of the people to what is seriously wrong in the country. There are really serious issues in the country which are getting out of control. Many people are suffering because of the economy. The inflation is getting out of hand and many people are getting poorer. None of the promises of change ever took off: the traffic situation is worse, joblessness is not being arrested, the promised end of ENDO is nowhere in sight, criminality is on the rise, and the drug situation is worse in spite of the tens of thousands unjustly killed and more tens of thousands orphaned. 

Now the Chinese connections of Duterte is being publicly questioned. He has brought the country to the tutelage of China and has greatly compromised our territorial sovereignty. A way to keep these problems from the attention of the people is to create non-issues for the people to talk about. Hence the unprovoked attacks on the Catholic Church and its leaders. 

Poor man! Does he think that Filipinos are slow of intelligence and can easily be fooled? Whatever purpose he may have in ranting against the Church, he is breaking the separation of Church and State! This in itself is a grave abuse of power!