Vatican spokesman clarifies Pope’s remarks on blasphemy
January 16, 2015
Father Thomas Rosica of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement clarifying Pope Francis’s remarks on freedom of speech and blasphemy.
The Pope compared mockery of religion to insulting someone’s mother, and observed that if someone insulted his mother, “he’s asking for a punch.”
“The Pope's expression is in no way intended to be interpreted as a justification for the violence and terror that took place in Paris last week,” said Father Rosica.
Noting that the Pope’s words “were spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate matter among colleagues and friends on the journey,” Father Rosica said that “his words mean that there are limits to humor and satire particularly in the ways that we speak about matters of faith and belief.”
The spokesman added:
Pope Francis’ response might be similar to something each of us has felt when those dearest to us are insulted or harmed. The Pope’s free style of speech, especially in situations like the press conference, must be taken at face value and not distorted or manipulated. The Pope has spoken out clearly against the terror and violence that occurred in Paris and in other parts of the world. Violence begets violence. Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight.
- Vatican clarifies Pope's comments on Charlie Hebdo attack (Catholic Register)
- Vatican spokesman: Francis wasn’t justifying Charlie Hebdo attack (Catholic World Report)
- Pope addresses limits of free speech, climate change, in new interview (CWN, 1/15)
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