Vatican 'appreciates' Duterte’s apology after cursing Pope Francis

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Ubay, Bohol (CNN Philippines) — The Vatican expressed appreciation for the apology made by presidential candidate Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, who earlier received flak after cursing the Pope in public.

Related: Duterte under fire for comment on Pope Francis

A letter from the Vatican's Secretariat of State, signed by Angelo Becciu and dated February 24, stated that "His Holiness Pope Francis has received (Duterte's) letter dated January 21, 2016" and that the Holy See "appreciates the sentiments” which the mayor expressed.

"The Holy Father offers the assurance of his prayers for you, as he invokes upon you the divine blessings of wisdom and peace," the letter said.

Related: Duterte apologizes to Bacolod bishop for cussing pope

In interviews with Duterte during his recent sorties in Bohol on Sunday (April 3) and Negros Occidental on Monday (April 4), Duterte said the Vatican had already forgiven him.

Duterte said he wouldn't release a copy of the letter to avoid the perception that he's using the Pope and the Vatican as propaganda. But members of the media were able to get a copy of the letter.

Duterte earlier planned to go to Vatican City to personally ask for forgiveness from the Pope for swearing at him in public.

The presidential candidate, however, cancelled his trip and instead wrote a letter to Pope Francis.

Duterte had also previously apologized to Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra for cursing the pope.  He also vowed to donate P1,000 to Caritas Davao for every curse word he would blurt out.

CNN Philippines’ Ina Andolong, and Davao-based journalist Ben Tesiorna contributed to this report.