“These are two heads of state speaking frankly to each other, one as the pastor of the Catholic Church and the other, a member of the Catholic Church of the Philippines,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters in Malacanang after President Aquino criticized, in front of Pope Francis, some Roman Catholic leaders for becoming silent on abuses of past administration.
“One spoke of fighting corruption, the other spoke of the silence of the church in the face of corruption,” Lacierda adds.
In his speech before a general audience and Pope Francis, the President said “there was a true test of faith when many members of the Church, once advocates for the poor, the marginalized, and the helpless, suddenly became silent in the face of the previous administration’s abuses, which we are still trying to rectify to this very day.”
Aquino added that during his administration some members of the clergy “see the glass not as half-full, or half-empty, but almost totally empty. Judgment is rendered without an appreciation of the facts.”