Cardinal Quevedo on killings: 'We do not practice our faith'

MANILA, Philippines – Cotabato Archbishop Orlando Cardinal Quevedo on Tuesday, January 17, said the attitude of Filipinos toward drug-related killings shows that many of them do not practice their Christian faith.  

In a news conference at the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM), Quevedo said: "We are a country where our faith has a dichotomy. We do not practice our faith. We believe but we do not practice it." 

"And that is true from top to bottom," he said. "Corruption is in government offices, and all that. And how many Catholics are there? 80% Catholic in government offices, probably." 

"And so if they do corruption, they are dishonest, they murder, and so on and so forth, it is because they do not practice their faith," the cardinal said.

To drive home his point, Quevedo cited the 83% approval rating that President Rodrigo Duterte got in a recent Pulse Asia survey. He added that the approval rating for the Philippine government's war on drugs "is very high."

He said, "I think the approval of many despite extrajudicial killings is a symptom or indication of split-level Christianity."

'Saints on Sundays'

"Split-level Christianity" is the term of the late Jesuit psychologist Father Jaime Bulatao for a type of Christianity practiced in the Philippines. 

This kind of Christianity professes Christian beliefs, on one level, and on another level fails to put these beliefs into practice. (READ: Philippines: Land of split-level Christianity)

Quevedo said that in the words of another priest, "we are saints on Sundays but devils the rest of the week."

Quevedo's comments come as more than 6,200 people have died in the war on drugs waged by Duterte.  

Of this number, 2,250 have been killed in police operations while more than 4,000 have been slain in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings.

In a speech also at WACOM, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged Catholics on Tuesday to speak out against these drug-related deaths.

Quevedo said in his own speech, "Can we be indifferent, for instance, to all those who are killed extrajudicially not only in our country but in other places in the world?" –