Rodrigo Duterte doubles down on attack on God, asks for proof

President Rodrigo Duterte has offered his resignation in exchange for proof God exists.
President Rodrigo Duterte has offered his resignation in exchange for proof God exists. Photo credit: Reuters

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has continued to antagonise the Catholic Church by offering his resignation in exchange for proof of the existence of God - preferably a selfie.

The controversial leader provoked controversy in June when he called God "stupid" and a "son of a bitch" at a summit.

He said that while he considers himself a spiritual person, he "can't accept" Catholicism or any form of organised religion.

On Friday (local time), Mr Duterte spoke at a convention centre in Davao City as part of the Phillipines' National Science and Technology Week, and took the opportunity to publicly reignite his feud with the Church.

"Bring me one person, just one, who would say: 'Mayor, those silly guys from the Church told me to go to heaven and talk to God. There is really God. Here, we have a picture, I brought a selfie'," he told the audience of more than 1000 people.

"You do that today, one single witness that there is a guy, a human being who was able to talk to see God.

"Of the so many billions who had been on here [on Earth], I just need one. And if there is one, ladies and gentlemen, I will announce my resignation immediately."

Despite his apparent scepticism, the President denied he is atheist or agnostic. 

"I believe in one Supreme God, I never said I do not believe in God," he said.

"I just happen to be a human being believing there is a universal mind somewhere which controls the universe."

He also slammed the Church for collecting funds from its members, accusing them of using the donations to "maintain the palaces and the luxurious things that the rest of humanity do not have".

Mr Duterte intends to meet with officials at the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on July 9, with the aim of ending the long-running tension between him and the Church.

The Philippines is Asia's only dominantly-Christian nation, with 86 percent of Filipinos practising Roman Catholicism.

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