Duterte not being alluded to by Pope's remarks calling Catholic church critics "friends of the devil," - Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte was not being alluded to by the reported remarks of Pope Francis that people who have been criticizing the Catholic church are the "friends, cousins and relatives of the devil," Malacanang said on Thursday.
"No. He (Francis) might not even know the President," said Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a press briefing.
Duterte has been a constant critic of the Catholic church.
In one of his speeches, Duterte even called God as a "stupid God" and in jest, encouraged criminals to rob the bishops and kill them.
The Catholic church in the Philippines has been critical on Duterte's bloody war against illegal drugs.
Reports said that Pope Francis acknowledged that the defects of the church should be denounced in order to be corrected.
However, he reportedly said those who have been constantly hitting the Catholic church are "friends of the devil."
Panelo said the Pope himself is one of the "better critics" of the Catholic church.
"He criticizes the members of the Church who are engaged in what he perceives to be immorality which is outside of the teachings of Christ or the internal discipline of the Church, ‘isn't it? When he address those members of the Church who could not be celibate to leave the Church, he is a critic. But it does not mean also that when you criticize, you are evil. You’re just expressing concern and opposition to certain irregular behavior," he explained. Celerina Monte/DMS