Pope Francis was asked by a French journalist about the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of expression. The Pope replied that both are "fundamental human rights" and stressed that killing in the name of God “is an aberration.” But he said there were limits to that freedom of expression. By way of example he referred to his close colleague and organizer of Papal trips, Dr. Alberto Gasparri, who was standing next to the Holy Father on the plane. The Pope said if “his good friend Dr Gasparri” says a curse word against his mother, he can “expect a punch”, and at that point he gestured with a pretend punch towards him, saying: “It’s normal. You cannot provoke."And if the Pope says something on a plane, you can expect
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. The Pope's words about Dr. Gasbarri were spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate matter among colleagues and friends on the journey.David letterman is one of the finest tv intyerviewers the boob tube has ever known. He has a snarky bit of pressing a recalcitrant celeb, "com'on, you can tell me, it's just you and me, no one else has to know, it won't go any further...."
If we in the Church are lucky, pehaps Dr Gasparri can explain to the Holy Father that a plane cabin filled with journalists covering the Bishop of Rome is not a confessional - his words will go further.
(*So named after the heresy-hating Bishop of Myra.)