Pope on Free Speech: Curse My Mom and Get Punched

Francis says free speech has its limits
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2015 7:57 AM CST
Updated Jan 15, 2015 8:00 AM CST
Pope Francis waves to well-wishers upon arrival from Sri Lanka, Jan. 15, 2015, to suburban Pasay, south of Manila in the Philippines.   (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Freedom of expression has its limits, and those limits include the pope's mama and poking the faith of others. Aboard the papal plane ahead of his trip to the Philippines, Pope Francis addressed the Charlie Hebdo attack by way of pointing to the man at his side, saying, "If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch." For effect, Francis threw a fake punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others." He continues: "They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit." Other highlights of his remarks, as per the AP:

  • He addressed concerns that the Vatican could be a target of Islamic extremists, saying he was mainly concerned for the Catholic faithful and that his security people were on it. "I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I'm careless about these things," he said. He added that if something were to happen to him personally, he had prayed that "it doesn't hurt, because I'm not very courageous when it comes to pain. I'm very timid. I'm in God's hands."
  • Francis tackled global warming, reports the AP, calling it "mostly" man-made. "I don't know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face. We have in a sense taken over nature. I think we have exploited nature too much. Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it."
  • Meanwhile, John Kerry is headed at last to Paris, reports Reuters. He'll meet tomorrow with French President Francois Hollande, and he described his mission thusly: "My visit to France is basically to share a big hug with Paris and express the affection of the American people for France and for our friends there, who have been through a terrible time."
(Read more Pope Francis stories.)

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |