(CNN)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has promised to mend fences with the Catholic Church in the wake of scathing comments he made about God, which shocked many in Asia's largest Catholic country.
Duterte seeks church outreach after outraging Filipino Catholics with 'stupid' God comments
In an apparent attempt to tamp down tensions after he called God "stupid" in a speech last week, Duterte announced Tuesday that he would engage in talks with the Catholic Church and other religious groups.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said that Duterte realized he needed to mend bridges with the powerful religious institution. Roque will have a position on a committee created to communicate better with the church.
"The President thought to open the dialogue because there is only one society served by both the government and the church," he said, according to CNN affiliate CNN Philippines.
The outspoken leader inflamed tensions last week while speaking at a summit in the southern city of Davao. In criticism of the Bible's creation story, Duterte said: "Adam ate (the apple), then malice was born. Who is this stupid God?" he asked, according to Philippine state media.
Despite widespread outcry in the devout majority Catholic nation, government officials defended the speech, saying it was Duterte's "personal belief."
The President later doubled down on his remarks, saying Monday: "