- Members of PCEC offered to wash Duterte’s feet, the Palace confirmed
- It was supposed to be a ritual of humility and of service for others
- The gesture is also an attempt to help the President’s healing process from experience of being abused by a priest as a youth
MANILA, Philippines – Members of evangelical churches in the country have offered to wash President Rorigo Duterte’s feet; this was confirmed by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Roque on Tuesday said the act forms part of the church’s ritual of humility and service for others as well as an attempt to help Duterte’s healing process from the alleged experience of being abused by a priest when the President was still young.
The Palace official confirmed Duterte is set to meet with members of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) who offered to perform the ritual on the chief executive, although the date has yet to be finalized.
“Although it is not the PCEC itself that was responsible for this form of abuse, nonetheless as Christians they felt that perhaps if they do that which is an act of humility,” said Roque in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“The President will understand that even if the church did him the harm, there is still the church that would want to acknowledge that a harm was done…perhaps that would help in the healing process,” the Presidential Spokesperson added.
Roque, however, clarified Duterte has not yet been told of the PCEC’s offer but added he is certain the President will appreciate the gesture.
The PCEC’s offer came amid the growing rift between Duterte and the Catholic Church which had been at the receiving end of the President’s tirades over the past several days.
In a speech earlier, Duterte mocked the Church’s ‘stupid God’ and questioned the Bible’s teachings on creation.
This was followed by another criticism of the ‘Last Supper’ during which he referred to the saints as ‘idiots’.
Duterte has been heavily criticized for his remarks against God, religion and the Catholic Church not only by his critics but by allies as well; prompting him to set a dialogue between the clergy and his representatives which include Roque, DFA Undersecretary Ernesto Abella and Council for Philippine Affairs (COPA) Secretary General Pastor “Boy” Saycon Jr.