Filipino Catholics are not letting relentless attacks by President Rodrigo Duterte on the church and its leaders go unchallenged. An influential lay organization has called on Catholics “to stand up for God and defend our faith in Him … [and] renew our commitment to go and fill our churches.”
The Sangguniang Laiko ng Pilipinas, the Council of the Laity, said “more than ever, [Catholics] are called upon to live a life worthy of our Christian vocation.”
Julieta Wasan, its president, called on Catholics to proclaim their faith “courageously” not only through words but especially “by the life that we live as faithful followers of Christ.”
The Catholic Theological Society of the Philippines, mean-while, has expressed its “solidarity” with Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan, who has been a major target of Duterte’s vitriolic attacks. The president claimed the prelate stole money from church collections and even insinuated that the bishop may even be involved in illegal drugs, making him a target for extrajudicial killing, according to some observers.