Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is hoping his nation’s Catholics go to hell. He plans to be there waiting.
The controversial and often-outrageous leader was responding to Catholic leaders who blasted Duterte’s bloody war on drugs in the majority-Catholic country, Reuters reported.
“You Catholics, if you believe in your priests and bishops, you stay with them,” Duterte said Sunday. “If you want to go to heaven, then go to them. Now, if you want to end drugs ... I will go to hell, come join me.”
Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines issued a pastoral letter read on Saturday and Sunday calling Duterte’s crusade a “reign of terror.”
“The officials of the CBCP are apparently out of touch with the sentiments of the faithful who overwhelmingly support the changes in the Philippines,” presidential spokesperson and former pastor Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Duterte is no stranger to provocative statements.
He’s previously told former U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell,” said he used to patrol the streets of the Philippines on a motorcycle looking to kill criminals and also claimed to have thrown a suspected kidnapper from a helicopter.