The Philippine Catholic Church on Sunday defended boxer Manny Pacquiao's anti-gay comments.

During an appearance on local radio station DZMM, Father Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the Catholic bishops' public affairs office, said that Pacquiao was only quoting the Bible when asked about marriage equality.

“This is really in the Bible,” Secillano is quoted as saying by the AFP. “There is this quote he [Pacquiao] uses from the Bible and we cannot change that.”

The 37-year-old boxer is running for a seat in the Philippine Senate.

Last week, he told local station TV5: “It's common sense. Will you see any animals where male is to male and female is to female?”

“The animals are better. They know how to distinguish male from female. If we approve [of] male on male, female on female, then man is worse than animals.”

Pacquiao apologized in a Facebook post, saying that he stands by his opposition to marriage equality “because of what the Bible says” but he's “not condemning LGBT.”

Apparel giant Nike responded to the controversy by canceling a contract with the boxer.

A day after he lost the Nike contract, Pacquiao posted a Bible verse on his Instagram account calling for gays “to be put to death.” It was deleted within hours.

(Related: Manny Pacquiao posts Bible verse calling for gays “to be put to death.”)

While Secillano said that it was “unfair” to condemn Pacquiao for quoting the Bible, he added that his language was offensive.

“The church … says that if this is your lifestyle, if this is your orientation, then we respect that. We cannot condemn them,” he said.

(Related: Dave Bautista offended by Manny Pacquiao's anti-gay remarks: My mother's a lesbian.)