BY Ian Dunn | January 15 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

Pope Francis speaks with reporter aboard flight to Manila, Philippines

‘You cannot kill in the name of God’

In the wake of the Paris terror attacks, Pope Francis says freedom of expression has a limit during a press conference on his flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines this morning

Pope Francis believes freedom of expression has should have limits but that no one has the right to kill in the name of God. During his flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines this morning, the Holy Father was asked by a French journalist if he saw freedom of expression as a fundamental human right.

“You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith,” Pope Francis said. If you do, he added, you ‘can expect a punch.’

The Pope was making specific reference to the attack by Muslim extremists on the satirical headquarters of French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people. He added that, while the Paris attack ‘astonishes us,’ throughout history atrocities like the Catholic-led massacre ‘St Bartholomew’s night’ incident in France have also come from those who profess religious beliefs.

“Also we were sinners in this,” he added. “But you cannot kill in the name of God, This is an aberration. Killing in the name of God is an aberration against God. I think this is the main thing with freedom of religion. You can practice with freedom but without imposing or killing.”

The Pope said that every person has not just the freedom or right, but also an obligation ‘to say what he thinks’ to build the common good. “We have the obligation to freely have this liberty, but without offending,” he said.

During the airborne press conference, the Pope called both freedom of religion and expression ‘fundamental human rights,’ but said there are limits to the freedoms. “You cannot offend or make war, kill in the name of your religion, that is in the name of God,” the Pope told journalists on the flight.

If the freedom of expression is used to offend, however, he said, the offender can expect a reaction. He used the example of Dr Alberto Gasbarri, the organiser of Papal trips, who was standing beside him during the in-flight press conference.

“It’s true that you cannot react violently,” he said. ” But, if Dr Gasbarri, my great friend, says something against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal.”

Those who ‘make a plaything out of the religion of others… are provoking,’ he said. “And, what can happen is what I said about Dr Gasbarri if he says something about my mother,” he added. “There’s a limit.”

“Every religion has dignity, every religion that respects human life and the human person and I cannot make fun of it,” he added. “And this is a limit.”

On the subject of freedom of religion, he said: “You cannot hide the truth. Everyone has the right to practice their religion, their own religion without offending, freely. And that’s what we do, what we all want to do.”




Pics: (Above) Pope Francis speaks with Caroline Pigozzi of Paris Match magazine during his flight to Manila, Philippines, this morning. (Below) The Pope waves as he boards a plane for his trip to Sri Lanka and Philippines earlier this week



additional images

  • Additional Image

Leave a Reply

latest news

Celtic’s new number 11: Lourdes volunteer presents grandson’s gift to Pope Francis

April 12th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

A seven-year-old boy from Glasgow and his Lourdes volunteer grandmother...

Glasgow parishioners call on council to protect parish from ‘intimidating’ Orange walk during Easter celebrations

April 12th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Parishioners at two Glasgow parishes are urging councillors to ­protect...

Scotland’s first deacon in modern times dies aged 94

April 12th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

Deacon Jacques Cooke: December 16 1924¬—March 25 2019. — By Bill Mowat ...

Bishop’s praise after donations helps diocese reduce budget deficit

April 12th, 2019 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS

The bishop of Argyll and the Isles has issued a...

Social media

Latest edition


exclusively in the paper

  • Parish refurb set to ‘light up Bishopbriggs’
  • Help boost pro-life vigil as Easter approaches
  • A moveable feast built upon a rock, By Gerald Warner
  • Hugh Dougherty explores how we can fill the pews on a Sunday
  • In the last of his Saintly Journeys through Lent series, Dr Harry Schnitker looks at the saints who have shown us the way of contrition

Previous editions

Previous editions of the Scottish Catholic Observer newspaper are only available to subscribed Members. To download previous editions of the paper, please subscribe.

note: registered members only.

Read the SCO