Calling the Catholic Church a “hypocritical institution,” President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines on Tuesday once again broke a pledge to stop criticizing the country’s dominant religion.
The president also declared he was no longer Catholic, but a member of his own church, the ‘Iglesia ni Rodrigo.’
“Iglesia ni Rodrigo does not limit anything. Do not believe in hell. If you die you will be a piece of carcass,” Duterte said. “I have my own concept of God is – what God is. It’s really the history. It’s only one God, God the Father. He’s not even the father. He’s God, period,” he added.
Duterte has been at odds with the country’s Catholic Church since before he took office. Church leaders have condemned his bloody crackdown on the drug trade which has left thousands dead in extrajudicial killings, as well as his efforts to reintroduce the death penalty. Despite his anti-Catholic diatribes, the president remains hugely popular in the Philippines, with the latest poll showing an approval rating of 88 percent.