Pope Francis has done some good since his reign, but last week he stepped into a pile of shit, and it will be hard to get the papal slippers clean again. When asked about the attack that killed 12 people at the offices of Charlie Hebdo – targeted because it had printed depictions of the prophet Muhammad – he said:
One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits. If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.
This is from the head of the religion that burned people at the stake for heresy. Note: Heresy is SPEAKING about something that the church does not agree with.
This is from the head of the religion that imprisoned Galileo for the rest of his life because he found that the earth circles around the sun and wrote a book about it. The church didn’t like his speech and called it heresy in 1633:
The sentence of the Inquisition was delivered on 22 June. It was in three essential parts:
- Galileo was found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to “abjure, curse and detest” those opinions.
- He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life.
- His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.
This is from the head of the religion that allowed systemic child-abuse for decades, all around the world.
The pope is really saying that offenders should expect a punch, not that it’s okay to punch. But that’s not how it will be interpreted. The offended will feel empowered by the pope: Ah, it’s okay for me to punch back because somebody said a curse word against my mother, or my prophet, or my god.
Based on what the pope just said, won’t the father of a child abused by clergy not therefore feel entitled to blow away the offending priest with a shotgun?
What is the bigger crime?
- Molesting a child?
- Or publishing a cartoon about the pope molesting a child?
According to what I am reading about the pope, he seems to think the second is a bigger crime.
I am sure he didn’t mean to do this, or I sure hope so, but his words here will be used by Muslims to justify hurting and killing people that speak out against their religion. He words will be used by Christians who are looking for justification for violence against others that speak out against them, be that from the homosexual community, the scientific community or from people supporting the right of women to have abortions.
Free speech can NEVER be limited – because if it is, it’s no longer free speech. That’s the whole point of it. Unfortunately, most humans around the world don’t have that right. We do have it in America, and in many European Countries, and in Australia, but we are in the minority. We have to protect this right, and it’s our duty to spread it to the rest of the world. With free speech, abominations like ISIS could not exist – at least usually not very long. Remember – Hitler stopped free speech, and lasted only 12 years.
Just when it looked like there might be a Catholic Spring, Pope Francis just blew it big time.