Pope Francis On France Attack: There Must Be Limits On Freedom Of Expression

Via Yahoo News:

Pope Francis said Thursday there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith. Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks while en route to the Philippines, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one’s mind for the sake of the common good. But he said there were limits.

By way of example, he referred to Alberto Gasparri, who organizes papal trips and was standing by his side aboard the papal plane. “If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said, throwing a pretend 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.”

Francis insisted that it was an “aberration” to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence. But he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone’s religious beliefs. “There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others,” he said. “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.”

Bill Donohue is doing cartwheels.

I am obviously delighted that the pope has taken the same position I have on this issue. Radio chatterbox Hugh Hewitt doubted last week whether a single bishop would side with me. What does he have to say now? Regarding the pope’s quip about punching those who offend us, here is what I said to Megyn Kelly last week: “If a woman has been beaten by her husband for 20 years and one day she goes out and she blows his brains out, I think we’re going to say she’s a murderer and we ought to try her. On the other hand any sensible person would say why don’t we look at the whole issue here.”