SRI LANKA: Freedom of Expression should not be used to Ridicule Faiths, Pope Francis says

COLOMBO, JANUARY 16, 2015(CISA) – Pope Francis said that there are limits to freedom of expression, especially when it insults or ridicules someone’s faith.

He gave the response to a question put to him by a French journalist regarding Paris terror attacks on Thursday 15 during a press conference on the flight from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.

Pope Francis was asked about the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of expression.  He replied saying that both are “fundamental human rights” and stressed that killing in the name of God “is an aberration.”

He staunchly defended freedom of expression, but then he said there were limits. “Provoking and insulting other people’s faiths is not right,” he said.

The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people’s faiths were not insulted or ridiculed. To illustrate his point, he told journalist that his assistant could expect a punch if he cursed his mother.

“If my good friend Doctor Gasparri (who organises the papal trips) speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched,” he said, throwing a pretend punch at the doctor, who was standing beside him.

“You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit.”









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