Pope Francis recently shared his perspective on freedom of expression and the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. Surprisingly, he provided a generalized analysis of the situation from the perspective of both parties involved.
While most have condemned Muslims for the Paris massacre, which claimed the lives of 12 innocent people, the pope took different stance. However, his opinion has raised concerns because the wording seemingly suggested that the pope is “defending” Muslims and their volatile actions, which were carried out in the name of religion.
Pope Francis started off with a reference to Alberto Gasbarri in order to prove his point. He spoke about actions and consequences, along with limitations, that should be considered where freedom of speech is concerned.
“If my good friend Dr. Gasbarri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis quipped. “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”
According to Yahoo! News, the pope also shared his perspective on whether there should be limitations on freedom of expression. He gave a surprising response on the concept of “freedom of expressing” meeting “freedom of religion.”
“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. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasbarri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit.”
Although Pope Francis is not justifying or supporting the Muslim terrorists’ killings in the name of religion, he did express that the retaliation should have been expected. However, his words have raised concerns because the Muslims’ actions were quite different from the “punch” Pope Francis used as an example in comparison to the horrific murders. While the satirical newspaper did mock the religious beliefs of the Muslims, most people have supported Charlie Hebdo’s efforts due to the freedom of expression. Criticism does not justify killing in any capacity.
Pope endorses violence against people who cause offence to him & others. Rejects Jesus call to turn the other cheek http://t.co/ewKXASageH— Peter Tatchell (@PeterTatchell) January 16, 2015
So many readers and news outlets are wondering how the pope could justify any type of action that would claim innocent lives. Then, of course, there’s the biblical teachings of the Bible, which condemns murder. “Thou shalt not kill,” is one of the commandments that Pope Francis believes in, so many find it contradictory for him to find justification in the actions of Muslim terrorists. The Bible also instructs believers to turn the other cheek and refrain from seeking vengeance.
Pope Francis’ words have sparked yet another debate. While some readers feel his words have been taken out of context, others feel he could used a better choice of words to get his point across.
So according to the Pope it's ok to respond to those who provoke and make fun of religion with violence: http://t.co/iw30n3Jzno— Johan Norberg (@johanknorberg) January 16, 2015
@PeterTatchell Not to be pedantic but surely explaining how a reaction may come about is not the same thing as endorsing it.— Marc McGonagle (@MarcMcGonagle1) January 16, 2015
Do you agree or disagree with Pope Francis’ statement? Share your thoughts.
[Image via KingEbuka]