It’s hard to argue that the Philippines are not the Catholic Church’s foothold in Asia. 86% of the country’s population claims to be Catholic.
This is undoubtedly why the Catholic Church has had so much influence over the country. For instance, though the Philippines has a law saying the government must provide contraception to the poor (if the poor want it), the Catholic Church managed to get the budget for that program slashed. Hell, the Church even waged a nationwide campaign to get people to stay away from a Madonna concert in Manila.
However, the newly-elected president of the country is Rodrigo Duterte and he has said publicly that the Catholic Church is the most hypocritical institution:
The presumptive Philippine president-elect has blasted the country’s dominant Roman Catholic church as “the most hypocritical institution” and accused some of its bishops of corruption for allegedly asking favors from politicians, including him.
In a late-night news conference that dragged on to the early hours of Sunday in southern Davao city, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte questioned the relevance of Catholic bishops, citing his overwhelming victory in the May 9 presidential election based on an unofficial count despite efforts by them to persuade Filipinos not to vote for him.
Such harsh public condemnation of the influential church and its bishops by a top politician is rare in the Philippines, Asia’s bastion of Catholicism. It presages a potentially thorny relationship between the Catholic church and the incoming president, who shocked bishops in November when he cursed Pope Francis for sparking a huge traffic jam that trapped him for hours during a visit to Manila.
Then I imagine this happened:
This will be interesting.