Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has sparked an uproar in Asia's biggest Catholic nation after he called God "stupid," prompting a rebuke from church officials who have been instrumental in toppling past leaders.

In an expletive-laden speech last Friday before government officials, Duterte expressed disbelief in the Catholic story of creation and described the teaching that humans have already sinned at birth as a "very stupid proposition."

"Who is this stupid God? He's really stupid. You created something perfect, and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work," Duterte said.