Major Filipino Archbishop Says ‘We Will Teach The Gospel Regardless Of What Anybody Says, And If We Die For Christ Our Voice Will Only Be Stronger’

Archbishop Socrates Villegas of the Philippines, who is famous for his standing up for Catholic teaching even if it means going against the government, said that all priests and bishops must continue to speak out against the policies of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, saying that the message of Christ must be preached and that death will only make it stronger:

A Catholic archbishop in the Philippines has told clergy to continue preaching the Gospel even if they are threatened with death and ‘the government is hostile’.

Socrates Villegas, the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan in Pangasinan said in a homily at Dagupan Cathedral: ‘We must teach even if our voices get hoarse. We must teach even if they threaten us.’

He continued: ‘We must teach even if they kill us and if they kill us, our message will echo even more because the best way to teach is through martyrdom!’

Lingayen-Dagupan is one of the most vocal archdioceses against the government, whose ruthless drugs ‘war’ has claimed thousands of lives in the country.

The archbishop said the times call on pastors not to be afraid and to ‘fill the dark world with the light of Christ’.

Villegas said: ‘In the lights and shadows of life, in the stormy and sunny days, in the persecutions we endure and the triumphs we bask in—the Lord speaks.’

The prelate, who has led the archdiocese since 2009, also stressed the need for the Church to reach out to what Pope Francis calls ‘the peripheries’.

He said: ‘We dream not of [a] status quo Church but an ever vibrant Church that is excited, not afraid to plunge into the deep.’

The comments came after a series of clashes between the Catholic Church and the government of President Rodrigo Duterte.

In March Catholic Bishops there said that they were ‘overcome with grief’ after the House of Representatives, the lower house in Congress, overwhelmingly voted in favour of reinstating capital punishment for serious drug offences.

According to the reports, more than 8,000 people have been killed by police and unknown suspects since Duterte took office last year, with many in incidents involving vigilantes. (source)

The controversy between the current government and the Church in the Philippines is regards to how President Duterte has handled the many problems in his nation. We have written about him before, as he famously stated that “human rights are bullsh*t, I will strip you of your rights and slaughter you all”. We commented on this, noting his hard stance on Islamic terrorists, and recognizing that sometimes evil people can be used by God for good means, but that evil is still evil:

Now it is important to keep this in perspective. President Duterte is *nominally* Catholic, and his views are very liberal and mixed. He is not a moral person, or even a good man, as he was involved with death squads and even earned himself the nickname “the Punisher.” He is a typical, corrupt Filipino politician in the true meaning of the word.

That said, again, it does not mean that God cannot use bad or evil men for good means. If anything, in spite of his many issues, it is good to hear him address the Muslim terrorist crisis that has been worsening in the Philippines. Perhaps instead of looking to an outside nation such as the USA, which has done little to address the problem (and given our support of ISIS, may have made it worse), he is a reminder of the fact that to stop Islam, we cannot just look to an external person or group to do the work on our behalf. If fighting Islam is one part of fighting against evil, then everybody has a role to play, not just the governments.

In this sense, he is similar to Syrian President Asad, who while also not a good man, understands Islamic terrorism and the threats, as terrorists do not play games but for keeps. They cannot be used as pawns, but must be taken and dealt with seriously and immediately. Perhaps it is that while Duterte may be an undesirable person, he may be somebody who can stop the Islamic assault on the Philippines.

However, just because a good outcome can occur from evil actions, it does not justify the committing of the evil in the first place because evil is still evil. In this particular case for the Philippines, it is the absolute brutality which Duterte uses to fight against those who oppose him.

Make no mistake, this is not to say that force cannot be used or that it is unnecessary. However, the fact is that one cannot stop evil by means of evil because they both lead to the same end, and that while fighting sometimes is necessary, there are clear limits of what is and is not acceptable. This is the reason why Ted wrote his book on Christian militarism, in order to outline how being that God is Love, and Love is mercy and justice, that the Faith has the perfect balance of the two that perfectly applies to all aspects of human life, including conflict between others.

President Duterte hates the Church because he has a personal grudge against it, and also because as is the case historically with many autocrats, the Church is often times the only moral voice which stands in opposition to either the government or the people attempting to usurp either for political gain at all cost with respect to none. It is the reason why the Protestant Revolution and the French Revolution were so destructive to Christendom. In the former case, it attempted to make the Church a vassal of the government, making religious piety synonymous with obedience to the government’s commands. In the case of the latter, it was simply and advanced form of Protestantism which just sought to get rid of the Church and replace it with government as the actual object of religious worship. In both cases the revolts were based on factual, real grievances to agitate the people, but the actual purpose behind those who funded and directed the movements was for them to attempt to seize absolute power and have nobody to oppose their dictates.

The same case is playing out in the Philippines. Yes, there is corruption in the Church in the Philippines. Yes, there is a tremendous crime problem in the Philippines, caused primarily by drug dealers and many times working with Muslim terrorists. Yes, military confrontation was likely unavoidable and will be for some time. However, it is not permissible to defeat one’s enemies by becoming just like them.

I leave this issue on one last note. For a long time, we at Shoebat.com noted how ISIS terrorists were engaging in cannibalism, and people were shocked, outraged, and horrified. However, we recently ran a story about a UK soldier who, while fighting against ISIS, also decided to treat his enemies the same way and partook in cannibalism of dead ISIS soldiers. While what ISIS did was evil, the way to fight ISIS is to defeat them, not to become like them.

That is what the Archbishop is fighting for. Yes, the drug dealers must be defeated and their brutality stopped, but not by becoming as bad or worse than them.

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  • As much as I would love for the State and Church work in union as in the ages past to return, I’m afraid that won’t happen in this age because the Church is becoming universally hated.

    • Kamau41

      I definitely feel the same.

      • There is a reason why the Church is a nation unto itself as St. Peter wrote. The Church is the continuance of Israel because Moses told the ancient Israelites they were chosen by God to be a holy nation, but now the Church has assumed that role of being that chosen nation since Christ departed to be with the Father.

        Unfortunately, along the way, some Christians lost sight of that and became fragmented along culture and ancestral lineage, which led a council of Orthodox leaders to define a heresy, Phyletism. That is one of the many issues we are dealing with today.

        The 1872 Council of Constantinople defined it as “ecclesiological heresy which says that the Church can be territorially organized on an ethnic, racial, or cultural basis so that within a given geographic territory, there can exist several Church jurisdictions, directing their pastoral care only to the members of specific ethnic groups,” (Source).

        This is why we are seeing Christians blurring the lines between nationalism, ethno-nationalism, and phyletism and the result will be disastrous.

        One example of how phyletism has damaged Christianity would be the Protestant Reformation born in Germany spearheaded by Martin Luther. It later gave movement to England, France, and eventually America. America is swimming in a cesspool of multiple heresies at once.

        It is because of the fragmentation of the Church, anti-Christian forces are gathering for war against the Church in pockets – throughout the Middle East and Asia, and throughout Europe, and it’s already here in America. It’s a matter of time before the forces of Antichrist become united against one singular objection – the forcible eradication of Christians.

        That is why I do not believe there will be a return to a union of the Church and State any time soon. If nothing else, it only intensify the longing for Christ to return and reign in justice, wisdom, and His kingdom will never end.

  • filomena seiffert

    This what all bishops tell the faithfull

  • Julie LaBrecque

    May God bless this Bishop – and may his example of fortitude and forthrightness shine as a beacon amongst his peers.

  • Diana

    2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says, “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

  • Prove it.

  • Anthony

    I don’t think the archbishop realizes Francis is probably not catholic

    • Anthony Palo

      where did you even get this? too much conspiracy theory got to you?

      • Anthony

        Why is hard to believe that over the ages there have been popes that have been deemed heretics, both holding the faith or defending it. It’s not a conspiracy, truth is truth and always will be, it was hard for me to swallow the truth about Catholicism but I did because it was true. I didn’t go by my “feelings” but because truth said that there is one true church and it is the catholic church. I guess there’s true conspiracies and fake conspiracies, true ones are that even the church claims that freemasonry and communists invaded the church, these are called wolves. I don’t see how it’s so hard to believe, I guess if we don’t believe in satan his job is done. He’s working pretty good, he’s had centuries to adjust his plans. If you ask me, the evidence points towards these conspiracies and what is happening in the church. Just look up everything Francis has said so far, don’t believe me but check it out yourself. I can’t live by my “feelings” anymore it’s not getting me anywhere good. Francis really has said that Martin Luther did not err on his views of justification, that alone 100 years ago would send him out the door but not these days. Truth does not change, and that’s the truth. It’s hard to swallow for me but yes it’s true, pray for the church. God bless

        • Anthony Palo

          I’ve researched this “justification” and I see where you are coming from about the justification subject and why you have said your comment, that maybe his “private theological opinions”, but that is not the infallible teaching.
          https://www.catholic.com/tract/papal-infallibility

          one example is Pope Honorius they say taught Monophysitism but decided to leave the subject unsettled (if not then that would have been heresey) now we know he is wrong, and another is St. Catherine had corrected the Pope, living in Frace at the time to return to Rome.

          the Doctrine of Infallibility and Matthew 16:18 Jesus said “that the gates of hell will not prevail against it” are guarantees against heresy. If heretics would contaminate the doctrine then Jesus would have been lying, and papal infallibility taught by the Church built by Christ is a lie and all else will be a lie. Sure there are heretics, Freemasons, homosexual, communists inflirtation and they should be dealt with concretely. Yeah and Satan does exist and his tools are Islam, Communism, Feminism, Atheism, New Age, Paganism, Fake News, and many other Church hating ideologies and motivations. yes there have been (rare) bad popes, but heretics contaminating the Church teaching is impossible, bec. As in the papal infallibility teaching the Holy Spirit prevents it.

          I agree with you truth doesn’t change.as He himself said Jesus is Truth and it is this truth that will be taught by His Church. And I will pray with you for the Pope to see this, and pray for the Church. God Bless and welcome to the Catholic Church brother!

          • Anthony

            With all this confusion going on it is always hard to really take a step back and see everything as a whole and make a firm decision. Thank you for all the info, I just want to be properly catechized and I just got a book that I believe will help a lot on all the dogma of the church. I truly believe the church is infallible and one true church. My next question is, in light of all you’ve said about the infallibility of the church that the gates of he’ll would not prevail against the church then is it possible that this present hierarchy are not catholic and not in the church but just holding the seat of Peter captive I guess you can say. There’s a lot of other issues that really make me think that a lot of the present hierarchy are not even catholic and thus the gates of hell haven’t prevailed over the church but have stopped it in its tracks and are destroying within slowly. Yeah sounds like a conspiracy but too much tells me the conspiracy may be true. If there’s just one, just one, like st anthanasius who didn’t give in to the Arian heresy then that means the gates haven’t prevailed so just from history we see that most bishops became heretics over 1500 years ago and yet the gates didn’t prevail. Who’s to say the same isn’t now but on a worldwide larger scale??? With scandals not being kept in check and heresies as well, this just speaks volumes as what kind of hierarchy we have. We all have to go through it and suffer but the church still stands, we must fight back and speak the truth. We must be saints and not care about popularity, we must follow to narrow path, Lord help us. I need to learn so much more and my desire isn’t not to be decisive, some may think I want this or say that I’m being decisive when all I want is just straight truth, that’s it. Tell me what I need to hear, that’s what I hope to strive for. Thank you for info and God bless you too and I’m glad I’m finally home with time, Lord help us all!

          • Anthony Palo

            I’m not really an expert but I refer to apologists and teachings of the Church with issues, with regards to the seat of Peter being captive,
            I refer to the papal infallibility page again: “But if the Church ever apotasized by teaching heresy, then it would cease to exist, bec. It would cease to be Jesus’ Church”. and reflected also in Paul’s statement, that the Church is “ the pillar and foundation of truth”.. it is God’s own spokesman.”

            So I think that guarantees the teachings and doctrines of the Church safe. Whatever happens.

            The Church is a divine and also a human institution, which means “persons that compose the Church (including clergy) are imperfect sinners whose internal and moral lives are susceptible to worldly temptations and attachments ”. Meaning they can err, sin and make mistakes.

            If treacherous people were trying to transform the Church from within (I think this is what you mean by “not Catholic”) they have never succeeded and never will, because what usually happens is if they held a heretical view (heresy always comes from the clergy), what always happens is they branch out and separate from the Church because the Church rejects them. These false beliefs were always corrected by councils and popes

            Some examples of heresies are Gnostics, Montanism, Arianism, Nestorianism, Cathars, Protestanism, among others.

            With regards to St. Athanasius, sure they experienced turmoil and Arianism would’ve won but God always makes a way to protect his Church in this case through him, defeating it. The council of Nicea voted against it, it was even instrumental bec. it is where the Nicene Creed was formulated.. I look at it more as was the truth of faith being revealed to the Church, specified, and cemented as doctrine, rather than heresy taking over.

            Perhaps this might help, If you want Freemasons, homosexuality and Liberal mindset infiltration in the clergy you can check out Church Militant Vortex, it’s a pretty good channel and I learned a lot of Catholic stuff and the said subjects on there, even criticizes clergy for it and holds them accountable. Aside from this site of course.

            That’s the Catholic life for you, it’s a struggle, but it’s a happy one for we have the fullness of truth in the Church. til another time. Peace!

            Church Militant- the Church on earth, still struggling with sin and temptation, therefore engaged with warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

  • Anthony Palo

    I live in the Philippines too, it is not only his manner of speaking but what he is saying …, while it may be said that his heart is for the Filipino People his means are cold-blooded and inhumane. He is even more cordial and conciliatory to rebels and enemies of the state than to his own helpless citizens.

    What do you mean not reported? Have you not thought that maybe because it is not reported because it is not happening? And it’s true a miniscule number of police are being charged for murder, what about the thousands more dead? And let’s not forget the Supt. Marcos in line for promotion after the killing the already surrendered and not yet convicted Mayor Espinosa in his jail cell.

    The Archbishop always side with the “Social Justice Warriors”?, it just so happens that in this case they fight for the same values, which is mainly human rights and moral good.

    No one is threatening the Catholic Church but Islamists? Duterte villainizes the Catholic Church every chance he gets. Have you not heard of his tirades against it cussing at it and even ridiculing Jesus? He hates it and his supporters, in varying degrees, share that animosity too. Catholic moral values are being attacked divorce(dissolution of marriage), same sex marriage(civil union) bills are being prioritized, sanctity of life is non-existent are all happening under his reign. So Islamists attack the Catholic Church physically, morally and verbally it is being attacked by Duterte and his poisoned supporters.

    90% of all Christians support Duterte? Show us the data and not opinion, do not use fake news (fake fact claims in this case) like usual Duterte supporters do.

    – If by “Christians” you mean Protestants, to a degree maybe you are right. just maybe. I could agree just because of his supporters tend to support that claim, just look at the Protestant Senators supporting him Pacquaio, Villanueva, Cayetanos (and his father, the leader of a major Protestant group), friend from Davao Pastor Quiboloy among others, All protestants I’ve talked to support him, and join him in his hatred for the Catholic Church (interesting to note that they regard the Catholic Church as the Antichrist). But I think that number is still too high.

    -If it’s Catholic you mean, while it maybe true a huge number to maybe even a majority support him, that would still be too high.

    -If by Christian you mean both, then that is ludicrous. Because that would mean 80% of the population support him and we all know that is false.
    The streets are safer? That’s what Duterte supporters always say but killings are in the news literally everyday, anyone can die at any second, doesn’t matter, day or night, anyone can get killed, and you say streets are safer? It’s even worse.

    Maybe it is true that the majority supports Duterte, but that just consolidates what the Bible is saying, that the Anti-Christ evil will rise in this world, and our country is not excempt from it. Duterte upholds the same values as the Devil… lies, deceit, and hatred of the Church. Since his presidency started fake news, killings and Church hatred has spread, his supporters lap up this up blindly, they follow him like he’s “the Perfect Man”

    In my view he is the Anti-Christ figure in this region (I see similarities in characteristics with fellow antichrist Erdogan), he has this otherworldly ability that people flock to him, follow him ferociously and protect him rabidly. He has brought out the worst in the Filipinos. A number of priests had already called him “false prophet” (Rev. Picardal) and “the Evil One”(Rev.Tabora). In a world where the antichrist spirit is getting stronger everyday, indeed we are living in the Bible’s pages.

  • Anthony Palo

    Truthslang He is wrong and is making false claims just like any other Duterte supporter. you are right, that is what’s happening in the Philippines right now lies, killings and Church hatred. I live in the Philippines too.