News analysis

Duterte's clash with Church splits nation

President's remarks on religion stoke anger even as Catholic leaders oppose his policies

President Rodrigo Duterte's increasingly heated war of words with the Catholic Church is driving a wedge into the Philippine's largely Catholic population, sparking fierce debates on matters of faith and politics.

Mr Duterte - who is not known to mince words when he's on the podium before a large, cheering crowd - last week stoked public anger when he called God "stupid" and questioned the logic behind the Christian concept of original sin.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2018, with the headline 'Duterte's clash with Church splits nation'. Print Edition | Subscribe