In this interview by Russia Today, President Rodrigo Duterte talks about why he suddenly decided to open up about his past experience of being sexually abused by a Catholic priest (see 21:20). After giving the host a copy of the book Altar of Secrets : Sex, Politics, and Money in the Philippine Catholic Church, Duterte ends the interview by saying, “By the way, I really believe in God. I put my destiny in the hands of God. But priests?”.
It is funny in a way that the interview ends here: “But priests?” We all know that the answer Duterte would give is: “No.”
Indeed, there is really not any so-called “priests” established in the religious hierarchical system. For Jesus Christ Himself is the High Priest “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrew 4:15). He is the true priest after Melchizedek. Not only so, He sacrificed Himself as the once-for-all offering (Hebrew 10:10). On top of that, because of Jesus Christ, all who put their trust in Him are now also royal priests (1 Peter 2:9). We are all equal to have the common access to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) to make intercessions for others and to minister to one another freely.
“But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9 NLT)
Psalm 146:3 writes, “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.” Let’s turn to God but not man-made “priests”, because all who partake of Him are God-made priests.