By CNN Philippines Staff
Updated 15:22 PM PHT Mon, April 4, 2016

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

In a letter from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State signed by Angelo Becciu dated February 24, it stated that “His Holiness Pope Francis has received Duterte’s letter dated January 21, 2016” and that the Holy See “appreciates the sentiments” which Duterte 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 Vatican letter stated.

In an interview with Duterte during his campaign in Bohol on Monday (April 4), Duterte said the Vatican has forgiven him.

Duterte said he won’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 having cursed him in public.

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

Duterte has also previously apologized to Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra for cursing Pope Francis.  The presidential candidate also vowed to donate P1,000 to Caritas Davao for every curse word he says.

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

Note: The CNN is not a bias media network in the world unlike BIG MEDIA NETWORKS here in PH.