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Vatican accepts apology from Filipino presidential candidate who 'cussed out' the Pope

April 05, 2016

The Vatican has acknowledged receiving an apology from Rodrigo Duterte, a candidate for the presidency in the Philippines, who had used an obscene expression to refer to Pope Francis during the papal visit to Manila last year.

Frustrated by massive traffic snarls during the papal visit, Duterte told reporters: "I wanted to call out, 'Pope, you [expletive], go home. Don't come here anymore."  Soon regretting the outburst, the Filipino politician apologized to his own bishop, said that he wanted to apologize in person to the Pontiff, and said that he would make a donation to Catholic charity every time he used profanity. In January 2016 he made his apology in writing to the Pope.

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican's under-secretary of State, replied to Duterte, saying that the Pope "appreciates the sentiments" of the apology. "The Holy Father offers the assurance of his prayers for you, as he invokes upon you the divine blessings of wisdom and peace," the archbishop wrote.

On the campaign trail, Duterte has mentioned the Vatican letter, but refused to make it public, saying that he does not want to make the Pope's message a political matter. 

 
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