Pope Francis rules out insult in freedom of expression

Pontiff says he would punch a friend who attacked his mother.

Pope Francis rules out insult in freedom of expression

World Bulletin/News Desk

Pope Francis has urged believers not to "react with violence" if people wrongly "offend religion" - despite quipping that anyone who offended his elderly mother "can expect a punch".

"You don't kill in God's name," the pontiff told reporters during a flight to the Philippines where he is to conduct a pastoral visit on Friday.

But he also stressed that, in his opinion, the freedom of expression did not give people the right to mock religious beliefs.

"Freedom of religion is essential" while "freedom of expression is a right, but also a duty", Francis said during a discussion related to last week's massacre of 12 people at the Paris headquarters of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The 78-year-old pope joked with reporters: "If my friend Gasbarri swears about my mum, he can expect a punch.

"You don't toy with the religions of other people."

The Pope urged Catholics to be "meek and humble" in the face of aggression, saying that it was the best way to respond to threats.

He added he was "concerned for the safety of the faithful" and admitted he was afraid of physical pain.

During the flight, he also cautioned that if mankind's "blows" to the global environment continue, the world will face "another Hiroshima".


Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2015, 14:12
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