Pope says ‘cannot insult’ other people’s religion
Pope Francis today condemned any killing in God’s name, but also insisted there were limits to freedom of speech and said other people’s religion could not be insulted or mocked.
The pope made the comments in relation to attacks by Islamists on the offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last week in which 12 people died.
“To kill in the name of God is an absurdity,” the pope told reporters aboard a plane travelling from Sri Lanka to the Philippines.
But the 78-year-old pontiff also said “each religion has its dignity” and “there are limits”.
“You cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faith, you cannot mock it,” the pontiff said.
“Freedom of speech is a right and a duty that must be displayed without offending.”
The Charlie Hebdo assault on January 7 was followed two days later by an attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris by a gunman claiming to have coordinated his actions with the two brothers who attacked the magazine.
In all, 17 people died over three days in the bloodiest attacks in France in half a century, which ended when commando units stormed two hostage sieges and killed all three gunmen.
The magazine this week published a “survivors” issue, which sold out yesterday before more copies of an eventual print run of five million hit newsstands.