This is the full quote about what the Pope said about punching someone:
As I remarked yesterday:
So if punching someone for mocking your mother is normal, than what of mocking someone you are told to esteem beyond your mother? A fatal knockout blow perhaps because you have to punch that much harder as it is not your mother, but Mohammed. Show the love.
The Pope did say killing in the name of religion is wrong, but his comment is the apology any fundamentalist needs to whitewash the bloodstains. …
Power is the right subject for satire. This is why religious figures are legitimate subjects. It is dangerous to suggest violence against this is normal, that insults lead to murder for those things we care passionately about. Honour killings, and persecution of other religions and sects are justified this way too.
Here are some quoted remarks from Father Thomas Rosica of the Holy See Press Office:
“The Pope’s expression is in no way intended to be interpreted as a justification for the violence and terror that took place in Paris last week,” said Father Rosica.
Noting that the Pope’s words “were spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate matter among colleagues and friends on the journey,” Father Rosica said that “his words mean that there are limits to humor and satire particularly in the ways that we speak about matters of faith and belief.”
The spokesman added:
“Pope Francis’ response might be similar to something each of us has felt when those dearest to us are insulted or harmed. The Pope’s free style of speech, especially in situations like the press conference, must be taken at face value and not distorted or manipulated. The Pope has spoken out clearly against the terror and violence that occurred in Paris and in other parts of the world. Violence begets violence. Pope Francis has not advocated violence with his words on the flight.” [Source]
What the pope has advocated is that anything perceived as an insult to religion is unacceptable, while violence in response to it is normal. You cannot unspin this. His stress and sympathy is with wannabe pugilists while restraining the right to lampoon, satirise and make criticisms of religion. Free speech should have limits – which fundamentalists and popes agree on.
Which probably explains why the Vatican has supported the OIC for blasphemy, while EU governments are committed to campaigning against such blasphemy laws (without a trace of irony about member states that still have them being mentioned).
Expect more ducking and diving by those supporting Pope Francis’ right to lay a hand on us, while expecting us to turn the other cheek. No way padre.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog