Vatican–Pope Francis has this morning criticised his Philippines Archbishop Socrates Villegas over what he calls ‘mixing gospel and politics’.
Presiding over a Sunday mass at the all-saints cathedral in Vatican city yesterday, Francis urged church leaders to stay away from politics and lamented on recent comments made by his archbishop based in the Philippines.
“Church leaders should be role models, people to be imitated. You should preach peace and harmony, unite people and don’t be the source of divisions. When a bishop in Philippines or priest in the US decides to engage directly in politics who will reconcile the conflicting parties? Why would a church leader mix gospel and politics? Christianity is not a political party.” said the Pope.
“There’s no day the church will support criminals. We must keep off politics and educate our people on things that matter like how they can stop using harmful drugs, and so on. Supporting druglords is equivalent to promoting the use of harmful substances which our church is not in support. We are sorry to the people the Philippines and to their leadership, please be informed that our Church does not and will never support the use of anything that is harmful to humanity.” he added.
Although the Pope did not mention names of the Bishops whom he believed to have engaged in politics, our Manila based reporters indicated that Catholic Bishop in Philippines Socrates Villegas who was recently recorded saying Philippines administration would ‘cursed.’
Villegas had criticised Filipinos for supporting President Duterte’s leadership.
We have lost our way, and have chosen darkness over light. Why do we applaud killings? We chose violence over peace and lies instead of truth. We chose to laugh at obscenities instead of correcting them. We chose to be silent instead of getting involved,” said Villegas.
“What used to be a nation of heroes has turned into a nation of indifferent people. They should repent,” he said.
Filipinos did not take his words lightly including the Catholics and later took to social media to mock his words.