Not content with merely sending a letter to the Holy See, presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte is already planning a visit to the Vatican City to personally apologize for cursing Pope Francis, his spokesman said Thursday (May 12).
“The mayor repeatedly said he wants to visit the Vatican, win or lose, not only to pay homage to the Pope but he really needs to explain to the Pope and ask for forgiveness,” Peter Tiu Laviña said in a Davao City press conference.
Although no date has been set for the trip, Duterte’s spokesperson said it will be a priority for the mayor once he assumes office as President.
Last January, Duterte wrote Pope Francis a letter asking for forgiveness after he confessed to cursing the pontiff during his visit to Manila in January 2015 because of the heavy traffic he caused.
A few months later, in April, Duterte’s camp showed a letter from the Vatican Secretariat of State confirming that Pope Francis responded favorably to the mayor’s request for forgiveness.
In the letter dated Feb. 24, 2016, Angelo Becciu, ostensibly a representative of Pope Francis, told Duterte that the pontiff has received his appeal for mercy.