Dear President Rodrigo Duterte,
WE are a group of grade 12 students who have read your recent statements regarding the sexual abuse scandals of priests. We first want to thank you for bringing up such an important and alarming issue to the people especially since it is still an ongoing case. We understand your concerns regarding how people, most especially women, may fall victim to these kinds of situations. However, we hope you understand that it also hurts us, Catholics—majority of your citizens—when these kind of comments about God and the Church are mentioned.
You have raised questions which remain unanswered to us Catholics, too. As women ourselves, we especially see the crucial need of apprehending sexual abuse and similar kinds of behavior towards women, children, or anyone. Although this pressing issue is indeed an important topic to discuss and bring up once again, it is still important to stand united and focus more on oppressing issues that could greatly hurt and divide our country. With respect to the Church, we would like to say that it does not condone such behavior in its teachings.
We would also like to humbly explain that priests are men who are called upon by God to spread His Word. This solemn vocation means that they would have to take a vow of celibacy and are to marry the Church. You are right in that there are priests who have lost their way, however it is a hasty generalization to say that the whole idea of priests should be condemned.
In addition, we would like to comment in regards to the creation of man and woman, they were created in order to complement each other, and fulfill God’s plan for procreation. God did not intend for man to disobey. Man only became deeply flawed and inclined to sin because of original sin. God gave us free will in order for us to learn how to love him ourselves. The wrongdoings of man regarding his role as the opposite sex is not placed in him by God, but are rather man’s inclination to sin.
Thank you for your time and we hope that you will correct these misdeeds occurring within the Church and continue to steer our country in the direction most flourishing.
Claire, Sofia, Phoebe, Selina, and May