Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Pope: Charlie Hebdo ‘punch’ not a justification of violence

/ 05:25 AM January 20, 2015
Pope Francis (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)

Pope Francis (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, Pool)

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE—Pope Francis said Monday he wasn’t justifying violence when he said a friend who had cursed his mother could “expect a punch” in return. Rather, he says he was only expressing a very human response to a provocation and that greater prudence was necessary to avoid such offense.

Francis clarified his comments about the limits of freedom of speech made last week in response to the terrorist attack against the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

ADVERTISEMENT

Speaking to reporters en route home from the Philippines, Francis said: “In theory we can say a violent reaction to an offense or provocation isn’t a good thing, that one shouldn’t do it. In theory we can say what Gospel says, that we should turn the other cheek. In theory we can say that we have the freedom to express ourselves,” he said. “But we are human. And there is prudence, which is a virtue of human coexistence. I cannot insult or provoke someone continually because I risk making him angry.”

The “punch” line, and the confusion it caused, was a reflection of how Francis’ informal, and sometimes unpapal, sense of humor can sometimes cause confusion or get him in trouble.

FEATURED STORIES

In fact, moments after clarifying his Charlie Hebdo remarks, Francis told a story about a run-in he had back in the 1990s in Buenos Aires with two corrupt public officials who offered him the equivalent of $400,000 for his works of charity on the condition that they get some of it back as a kickback.

“And in that moment I thought, ‘What should I do? Either insult them and kick them where the sun doesn’t shine, or play the fool,” Francis said.

He said he ended up playing the fool, but his response was further evidence that his casual speaking style is just that: casual.–Nicole Winfield

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: France Attacks, pope, Pope Francis
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
lifestyle

How to take Manila FAME into the digital era

October 17, 2018 05:04 AM

opinion

A new law to reverse PH’s HIV epidemic

October 17, 2018 05:04 AM

lifestyle

Jeho Bitancor’s poetic dissent

October 17, 2018 05:03 AM

opinion

To serve, or to profit from public office?

October 17, 2018 05:03 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.