President Duterte: “By the way, I believe in God. But Priests?”

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.

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