So the Pope and some journalists walk into an airplane…

I am sensing a pattern.

The Holy Father takes a trip.  The Holy Father talks to journalists on the plane.  The Holy Father is asked a question about a hot button issue.  The Holy Father speaks off the cuff.  The Press Office goes into spin cycle and the MSM has a conga line dance.

Pope Francis was asked, on the plane to the Philippines, by a French journalist about religious freedom and freedom of expression.  The question was obviously about the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris.  Francis replied that both are “fundamental human rights”.  He stressed that killing in the name of God is an aberration.? But then… he said there were limits to that freedom of expression.  He gave an example.  He referred to Alberto Gasparri (who organizes the papal trips) standing nearby.  The Pope said that were Gasparri to insult his mother, Gasparri should expect to get punched.  Francis pretended to punch towards Gasparri, saying: “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others.  You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

That sounds an awful lot like, “If you step over the line in insulting someone, you had better expect consequences.”   Which in turn sounds like, “What did Charlie Hebdo expect?”

NOW… let’s be clear.   No one but the stupidest person on the planet would think that the Pope believes that the Muslim wackos who killed the Charlie Hebdo people were justified.

On the other hand… it sure sounds like the Pope said…. something.  I don’t quite know what, at this point.  I am not sure anyone else does either.

That said, one of the people working with the Press Office sent an email blast out with a Press Office clarification, which included…

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. His words mean that there are limits to humor and satire particularly in the ways that we speak about matters of faith and belief. 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 a 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.

Okay.   But at this point one has to ask quietly, “Holy Father, are you sure it’s a good idea to give press conferences?”

As an aside, I saw Fox News’ Meagyn Kelly go after The Catholic Leagues Bill Donohue for his observation that was not entirely unlike what the Pope offered colloquially.  HERE and HERE

 

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59 Responses to So the Pope and some journalists walk into an airplane…

  1. Jerome Vincent says:

    I’m with Father when it comes to prudence of these impromptu press conferences, but I also have to admit, this was one of the few “Huzzah” moments I’ve ever had while reading a quote by Pope Francis — and had it been spoken at any other time, I’m sure we’d all be backing it fully, as it knocks down an unhealthy pacifism. BUT, given the timing, it’s hard for people not to take it as some sort of “justification.”

    Perhaps it’s enough to observe that in some tragedies, both sides are at fault — which is not the same as justifying either of them. The honor of one’s mother, worth a punch to the head? Yes, I’d say so. A knife in the heart? Of course not — that’s just responding to sin by a worse sin.

    We Christians are a strange tertium quid in this modern world — neither of the two “sides” is truly our own.

  2. ronconte says:

    The morality of an act depends on the intention, object, and circumstances (including the anticipated consequences). The editors of Charlie Hebdo could anticipate that their continual provocation of Muslims would result in violence by extremists. So they are culpable for their decision to continue provoking them. But far greater culpability lies with those who planned and carried out the violence.

  3. gjp says:

    I get it. People have the right to free speech, but there are sometimes consequences to having that speech — we should be more responsible, less careless in expressing our thoughts.

    No one deserves to die for something they said — but knowing that Islamic terrorists show no regard for human life, and how they can flare up at a moment’s notice — if you offend them, especially in the tasteless way C.H. goes about mocking religion (for example, a cartoon depicting the three persons of the Holy Trinity engaging in a homosexual three-way act, as C.H. printed in their November 2012 issue about ‘gay marriage’) — I am saying, knowing how Islamic extremists act, I do not know why their office wasn’t an impenetrable fortress guarded by security forces armed with assault rifles 24 / 7. They didn’t deserve to die, but they provoked irrational murderers.

    I would like to point out that no Christian group has ever committed terrorist acts against C.H., even though their anti-Christian (especially anti-Catholic) rhetoric seems far far more offensive than anything they have printed against Islam.

    If you know that a kid in your high school loses his head and becomes violent at the drop of a hat, then you shouldn’t walk up and down the halls of the high school telling everyone you made out with that kid’s girlfriend, if you don’t want your face punched in.

    The Dixie Chicks (specifically the lead singer) made remarks about President Bush, and many country stations stopped playing their music and people stopped buying their albums. Many people stopped being fans. Did the country music loving populace not have the right to choose whether or not to support a musical group because that group was exercising their free speech? Actions have consequences. The Dixie Chicks can say whatever they want, but they also have to accept that their actions have consequences.

    So if the people who work for Charlie Hebdo want to live a safe happy life with no incidents whatsoever, they should refrain from provoking violent irrational people. That isn’t to say that militant Islamists effectively take away everyone’s free speech, but I think you can have a rational discussion about a particular religion without being offensive and mean.

  4. Papabile says:

    What I really need and want to see is a book of Airplane Magisterial Statements published by Ignatius…. kind of like they published Benedict’s catechesis Audiences…..

  5. FrAnt says:

    “It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

    Wouldn’t it have been better to say that “You should not provoke. You should not insult the faith of others. You should not make fun of the faith of others.” What’s to keep from some government from saying, “You cannot have religious freedom. You cannot speak freely.”

    Say what you like, I don’t have to like what you say, but know that I have the right to freely say that that I don’t agree with you .

  6. Rushintuit says:

    The eight minute video you linked to with Megan Kelly includes a panel of Catholic bashers. If you could change that link to the five minute video on the same topic, it would be more to the point. Thank you, Father!

  7. juergensen says:

    It would be nice if Pope Francis would once in a while scandalize the press by unequivocally affirming Catholic teaching.

  8. Sonshine135 says:

    Father Z said:”On the other hand… it sure sounds like the Pope said…. something.  I don’t quite know what, at this point.  I am not sure anyone else does either.”

    Isn’t that always the case with Pope Francis? This is precisely why the media loves him. His speech is filed with such broad generalizations that they can make him into whatever they want. He is sort of like an ideological Mr. Potatohead where his language is the bucket o’ parts.

  9. Monica says:

    On a (conservative flavor) political blog I frequent, the anti- Pope Francis and anti- Catholic commentary has been flying freely today. I found the Pope’s remarks earthy and human, if definitely imprudent as usual. It is tempting to defend him more strongly than I otherwise might, simply due to the ignorance of the Catholic bashers who are my political allies in some respects.
    CNN ran with the headline “Pope Says There Are Limits To Free Speech” half the day. His views were more nuanced than that, but here we go again.
    In short: don’t presume that people “of good will” actually understand the papal office, or much of anything at all about Catholicism. Ultramonatism= their conception of the Faith.
    We have a lot of work to do in the alt-media.

  10. Bea says:

    Airplane trips make for a good “Comedy Hour” if one can dig through the confusion.
    My better half refuses to delve into the conundrum, I enjoy the spin that follows.

    Fr. Z’s quote:
    “the MSM has a conga line dance.”
    “On the other hand… it sure sounds like the Pope said…. something. I don’t quite know what, at this point. I am not sure anyone else does either.”

    Thanks for the laugh, Father Z.

  11. Monica says:

    Ultramontanism, should have been. Normally I don’t correct errors like this, as everyone knows autocorrect is, well, evil. But I don’t post much here, though I read every day, so I have no reputation as a literate commenter. Forgive a former proofreader, still picky but happily off the job.

  12. Sliwka says:

    I was taking a university class in Modern Islams and this was when the Dutch cartoons were news. My prof was asked by a local paper if they should print the pictures in solidarity. His reply: you are perfectly free to print a naked woman on the cover, but taste dictates you do not.

    I think this may what the Holy Father is getting towards

  13. Elizabeth D says:

    Papabile, Ignatius did already publish Tornielli’s book “Fioretti: Little Flowers of Pope Francis” (once the title had been thought of, they must be forgiven for not being able to help themselves). I do not have the book but that would seem to be the right book for the Airplane Magisterium. Actually (again I reiterate I have not actually perused the book) what do you want to bet there is already a story about Pope Francis preaching to the airplanes, which all listened attentively until he was done, at which time they all rose up filling the air with bright wings and every sort of joyful noise in praise of God. Then there is the jihadist of Gubbio which Pope Francis was able to make docile by convincing the townspeople to embrace social justice.

  14. marcelus says:

    for those who are not familiar with Hebdo or found out about. it a few days algo and start dissecting PF’ words again just check out hebdos covers on The Church, The Lord and all se hold sacred. You will understand what he meant then.forget about the muslim being offended. do what I tell you and check that out.then tell me if you dont agree with Francis

  15. Elizabeth D says:

    And of course the conversation when he’s walking along with Monsignor Marini explaining that it is not perfect joy even if they spoke all languages even English perfectly, had the press on their side, were inspiring a vast number of Catholics to go to confession, as well as drawing tons of priestly vocations and attracting many, many people to the Catholic Faith. Do you want to know, Guido, what is perfect joy?” “Yes, I beg you Francis please tell me what is perfect joy,” said the priest. Pope Francis replied: “If I came home from an apostolic journey with my cassock all raggedy and dirty and icicles hanging off it, and my luggage having all been lost somehow at the airport, and I was exhausted and hungry and with a head cold, and I went and banged at the door of Casa Santa Marta, but it was full of members of the curia and they told me to go away, even after I pleaded pitiably; then if I renewed my plea and it simply riled them up and I was verbally abused by them; then if I pleaded for the love of God please let me in, and if a curial functionary came out and beat me with a knotted stick, and if then I reflect with charity that it is God who makes him act that way and accept it with love and happiness… THAT, Monsignor Marini, and please write it down, is cause for perfect joy.”

  16. jhayes says:

    Cardinal Dolan comments:

    NEW YORK (RNS) Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Tuesday (Jan. 13) denounced the Paris terror attacks by Islamic extremists as “an abomination” and “a nauseating perversion of religion,” and he stressed that no matter what cartoons were published by the satirical weekly targeted by the killers, they did not justify violence.

    In finding no justification for the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff, Dolan seemed to part ways with another prominent New York Catholic, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, who essentially said the newspaper editors had brought on their own slaughter….

    Speaking on his weekly Sirius XM radio show, Dolan did not mention Donohue by name, but the archbishop took a notably different tack. He echoed Pope Francis’ denunciation of the attacks as the fruit of a false form of religion, and said even offensive cartoons and articles could not rationalize such violence.

    “No matter what this particular magazine may have been doing, no matter what their particular journalistic style or editorial stance may have been, nothing could justify the vicious attack upon them. We know that,” Dolan said.

    HERE

    .

    .

  17. The Cobbler says:

    There’s a lot of stuff nobody’s talking about when it comes to the Charlie Hebdo fiasco:
    1) Somebody’s gotta criticize Islam (in the intellectual sense of the term “criticize”).
    2) Spouting obscenities isn’t criticism.
    3) Killing people over obscenities is murder no matter whether they have the right to spout those obscenities or not.
    4) It’s entirely possible for both sides to be in the wrong — even if to different degrees for different reasons, and even if they both have some understandable motivation.
    5) If I understand correct, innocent bystanders such as the food delivery guy were killed just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    But nobody’s talking about any of those things — Charlie Hebdo would be just as ignored as the occassional Catholic or Orthodox church that gets blown up in the Middle East, would be just as ignored as the murdered innocent bystanders, if they hadn’t been attacked for spouting off obscenities. People the world over are upset over Charlie Hebdo and not all the other terror attacks in the past few months simply because they’re afraid of not being able to spout off obscenities at whoever they dislike. That’s the crap they call “freedom of speech”.

    So, they say to themselves, “Well, these religious fanatics are being real religious fanatics in threatening my right to mouth off, aren’t they! Why don’t we see if we can get Pope Casual to shame them?”

    But “Pope Casual” bucked the trend and pointed out the most blatant, common-sense problem with the reduction of this whole incident to a free speech issue: free speech simply doesn’t work that way, and everyone knows it.

    Would it be nice if somebody would give everybody else the run-down on all the other issues at hand? Sure. But at least His Holiness Pope Francis used his off-the-cuff powers to make the world a bit less comfortable with their idiocy. At the end of the day that’s a net win — probably a bigger net win than we’d have got if he attempted an actual theological discourse in front of reporters ready for a soundbite.

  18. gramma10 says:

    I am currently watching EWTN and the mass in the Phillipines with Bishops Priests and Religious.
    Awesome. I also was playing the obnoxious crude video with the asinine idiot Catholic bashers. (I have freedom of speech too!)

    At the very moment I was about to throw up from these demon possessed men….God redeemed the situation!

    Right then, kind, caring Pope Francis walked over to give “peace” and warmth and love to a bunch of elderly priests and religious.
    The complete JOY and love that exuded from the faces and hearts of the elderly was so beautiful that it brought me to tears.

    The Phillipino people absolutely love Pope Francis beyond comprehension.
    The people were totally overly gracious to him and the Archbishop of Manila spoke some of the kindest words I have ever heard spoken to our Holy Father.

    Sooo, the gross idiots on the video were eclipsed by beauty and the love of God.
    Praise God!

    I think I would like to tie these men down for an hour and put a gag in their mouths and replay this beautiful Phillipino mass over and over and also pause it to replay these moving heartfelt words of the Archbishop…over and over and over for them.

    They need some decency and awe and maybe then they would crawl out of their holes and bask in some Son shine!

    PS —-
    This blog sure pushed my buttons. Now I will have to go do the right thing and pray for my enemies.
    Actually it is really very sad that these men and their followers do not know Jesus.

    And…..as far as I am concerned, our Holy Father can say WHATEVER HE WANTS in interviews. He is down to earth, honest and speaks from his heart.

    The media does not understand someone’s heart!
    Oremus.

  19. St. Epaphras says:

    Elizabeth D, should you write such stories you may send them to me! I laughed out loud, which has been hard for me to do here lately.

  20. Anchorite says:

    I’ve been disappointed with Donohue’s statement. And I am even more disappointed with the words of someone claiming to be the Vicar of Christ. The point that Francis (and others) miss gloriously is proliferation of fear, gut-wrenching fear that is spreading and paralyzing European brains. Fanatics that murdered the innocent people at Charlie Hebdo DID NOT kill because they were PROVOKED. Please… They killed before: beheaded kidnapped, stabbed bystanders, enslaved women, burned children. NONE of the Christians or confessionally different Muslims PROVOKED the torture, death, and abuse. NONE. If we as Catholics do not get it, we need to clear our heads. These monsters did not give a damn about anything other than impressing in our minds fear of our (so they plan, not just wish) impending death from their hands. What Bergoglio said was wrong on so many levels. It’s not about “F you and your mother! I punch you now” nonsense. It was about making a lesson of Hebdo stuff to all us stupid westerners. “You even think of making a peep and we kill you and your loved ones.” What part of that “rhetoric” dear Francis did not get? Instead, he twisted the point of the massacre (I can only imagine what Jews now think of him as they walk to schools, synagogues, homes, protected by the armed guards in Paris), and went on his usual pointless chat that said a lot while saying nothing direct and clear. No, as a Catholic believer I’ve already heard enough from Bergoglio, but now I heard enough as a fellow human.

  21. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Elizabeth D, please give us more conversations between Francis and the long-suffering Guido!

  22. Liberals decry “unfetteredness” selectively. When it comes to capitalism, they want to bring the entire thing down screaming “unfettered capitalism!” Yet when it comes to other things, they have no problem with unfetterdness. Take modern art with their unfettered blasphemies against Christ or the Blessed Virgin Mary, calling it “art.” Modern society needs to learn some restraint, some honor, some dignity for others, and start displaying gentlemanly, and ladylike characteristics again. This was once accomplished in societies that collectively saw the image of God in their neighbor, but as society veers from respecting God who they cannot, so they veer from respecting their neighbor who they can see.

  23. AlexanderAerarius says:

    Pope Francis knocks another one out of the park. And if the journalists don’t like what he said, they ought to ask themsleves, “who am I to judge?”

  24. Phil_NL says:

    Rather than just imprudent, these comments were, with all due respect, completely off the mark as well.

    First of all, “provocation” has no place in either western civilization or Christianity – the very concept should make neckhairs stand up. The first should realise that behavior should be guided by ratio, and that a provocation is, by definition, something that appeals to emotion. Emotions that get in the way, and as often as not, that was exactly what the provocateur intended. Christianity, well, something about the other cheek, right?

    Secondly, provocation, by being emotionally based, allows the other party to determine the field of battle. Do soemthing they do not like? Call it provocation, claim that it is natural that there is a response, capture more ground. Here in Europe a non-negliable number of muslims make that into an industry. (and the US has them too).

    Thirdly, not all beliefs are equal. In fact, islam is not just a belief, it’s a political ideology as well. According them the same status, the same reverence as other religions is not appropriate. The talmud is worthy of an other type of respect than shariah (which is worthy of no respect at all); the former will bind Jews, after a fashion and in accordance with interpretation often infused by reason; the latter will bind anyone unfortunate enough to live in territory where it is applied, and signals subjugation and terror.

    There needs to be a big, gasping chasm between insulting religion and insulting Religion. If error has no rights, the first thing we need to realise is that protecting false religions is not in our interest, especially one that doesn’t play by the civilized rulebook. Other religions are not our allies in this. They’re allies insofar we all want to create a free environment, but when protections are given, they can and will be used against us. The Holy Father would be wise to restrict his comments to cases involving Christianity – and despite Charlie hebdo taking swings at everyone, today it is clearly a muslim issue.

  25. Hank Igitur says:

    If this Pope were smarter he would not do these ad lib talk shows on aeroplanes. Perhaps he will subsequently learn this. It is actually a really unwise thing to do and it has its own price subsequently. It repeatedly has had negative consequences thus far.
    Megyn Kelly is doing the job Fox briefs her to do, it comes from the top, we all know who runs Fox.

  26. Pingback: CatholicHerald.co.uk » Morning Catholic must-reads: 16/01/15

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  28. quamquam says:

    A bit tangential, and different contexts – but interesting to see the consonance of Pope Francis’ remarks with some past magisterial teachings:

    ‘We must now consider briefly liberty of speech, and liberty of the press. It is hardly necessary to say that there can be no such right as this, if it be not used in moderation, and if it pass beyond the bounds and end of all true liberty. For right is a moral power which – as We have before said and must again and again repeat – it is absurd to suppose that nature has accorded indifferently to truth and falsehood, to justice and injustice.’ (Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Letter ‘Libertas’ 23)

    ‘In the use of all freedoms the moral principle of personal and social responsibility is to be observed. In the exercise of their rights, individual men and social groups are bound by the moral law to have respect both for the rights of others and for their own duties toward others and for the common welfare of all. Men are to deal with their fellows in justice and civility.’ (Vatican II, Declaration on Religious Liberty ‘Dignitatis Humanae’ 7)

    As others have said, the Holy Father obviously isn’t talking about the right to murder anyone, but about the right of ordinary religious believers (of whatever religion) to be ‘dealt with in justice and civility’.

  29. Traductora says:

    I’ve gotten to the point where the two words that most inspire dread in me when I go online are “Pope speaks…”

    He seems to just open his mouth and let any old thing come out. I don’t know why people are cheering the fact that a Christian leader should announce that he would punch somebody who insulted his mother; that’s silly, childish, and certainly not Christian behavior. Furthermore, he trivializes the death of those 12 people in Paris (some of whom, btw, were not even Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, but police or even maintenance workers) and makes it sound like it is just one of those things, you know, offend somebody and they have every right to kill you and anybody around you just to make their point. I guess Jesus was wrong and revenge is okay after all.

    These words, btw, were followed by the usual odd words, spoken in the context of his interfaith reflections about his Buddhist temple visit, about how cruel the old Church was, even referring to St Bartholomew’s Day to point out the violent, exclusivist, doctrinaire nature of Catholicism before the advent of Pope Francis. Leaving aside the fact that the Huguenots themselves killed thousands of Catholics in the Francophone countries and were a violent political force (I don’t think history is the Pope’s strong suit), how can he logically defend violence and revenge on the one hand and then turn around and attack it on the other when he sees it as giving him a chance to make the “old” Church look bad? No wonder the press loves him.

  30. Papabile says:

    Traductora:

    Chris also said in Like 19:27

    “But as for those my enemies, Who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me.”

    I think a punch is a little less direct than th is approach.

  31. Papabile says:

    Ach! Excuse the previous misspellings. My keyboard is screwed up.

  32. Kerry says:

    The murder of innocents is a moral evil. Tragedies appear on stage. (Not sniping at you Jerome V.) Confirmation bias, the example all here will know is Robert Shaw saying to Paul Scofield about his own musical composition, “Nonsense Thomas! You have excellent taste, it perfectly coincides with my own.” When the press agrees with Pope Francis, what he says or said, perfectly coincides with their own. And on the other hand, when it does not, they mutter under their breaths, “Truth?…”.
    Provocation for these particular adherents of the Religion of Peace, (the “Al, who? Akbar!!” “when translated into American is the husband who smashes his wife’s face into a wall while screaming, don’t make me hit you!

  33. YoungLatinMassGuy says:

    Insulting a religion for the sake of insulting it is unproductive.

    Instead we should simply state the facts, and let people come to their own conclusions.

    How about this for a start:

    muhammed was 53 years old when he consummated his marriage with Aisha who was 9 years old.

  34. Traductora says:

    For goodness sake, Papabile, that quote is part of a parable and Jesus was not recommending this behavior to His followers. The king would represent God, who we know on the last day will indeed judge us and may in fact be very severe on those of us who deserve it. But at no point does Jesus ever tell His followers to go out and smite people who don’t accept them or even those who persecute them. In fact, He tells us to expect this…and to forgive.

  35. Grumpy Beggar says:

    juergensen says:

    “It would be nice if Pope Francis would once in a while scandalize the press by unequivocally affirming Catholic teaching.”

    lol (. . . nice to breathe in a little true satire for a change).

    Of course, Pope Francis’ comments (Hank Igitur is right BTW – less ad-libbing proportionately and definitely results in less misconstrual ) would hardly have raised an eyebrow if there had been no killing – right ? Imagine these words a moment, without any of the tragic killing in France ever having taken place :

    “One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith. There is a limit. Every religion has its dignity … in freedom of expression there are limits.”

    . . . rather innocuous in comparison.

    For the record, (because we’ll be waiting till Hell freezes over before the fickle media types ever bring it up again), here is how Pope Francis originally and promptly responded to the recent Charlie Hebdo -related killings in Paris :

    VATICAN CITY — The morning after 12 people were shot to death and 11 others injured at the Paris office of a satirical weekly newspaper, Pope Francis dedicated his early morning Mass to the victims and their families.
    At the beginning of the Mass Jan. 8, he told the small congregation that the attack in Paris Jan. 7 was a reminder of “the cruelty man is capable of. Let us pray at this Mass for the victims of this cruelty — there are so many! And, we pray also for the perpetrators of such cruelty that the Lord will change their hearts.”
    source

    To build on what ronconte says:

    ronconte says:
    “The morality of an act depends on the intention, object, and circumstances (including the anticipated consequences). The editors of Charlie Hebdo could anticipate that their continual provocation of Muslims would result in violence by extremists. So they are culpable for their decision to continue provoking them. But far greater culpability lies with those who planned and carried out the violence.”

    So actions have consequences. Now that we’re getting quite familiar with the quote from 2012 of slain Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier (God rest his soul- and the souls of all those who died so tragically) :“I would rather die standing than live on my knees.” , it should be pointed out that he isn’t the author of those words – they are, in fact, attributed to the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.

    I couldn’t help but notice how many of the media reports on this tragedy are keeping what happened at Charlie Hebdo (12 victims) separate from what happened at the kosher supermarket where the four innocent hostages were killed . That would have to be some of either the most sloppy, or the most deliberately omissive reporting I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s as if they’re afraid to link the two (three actually if we count the slain policewoman – God rest her dear soul too). On January 9, 2015 the Gloucester Times told it like it is- calling the gunman at the kosher market an accomplice.

    What both Pope Francis and Bill Donohue are alluding to is consideration of all the consequences. . . So you’re willing to die for what you’re doing – fine . . .and I truly pray no one else has to die before their time. When we pause to reflect, and we examine all the consequences , questions of a much more delicate moral nature enter into the equation . . . such as:

    Okay, you’re willing to die for it , but given the danger of the situation because of the fanatics you’re mocking – borne out by the police guard you constantly have at your offices (may God rest the brave souls of those two officers) , do you care whether any others not connected to you – say, for example, four totally disassociated innocent kosher market workers die as hostages – collateral damage to your cause ?

    Some more perceptive minds would be inclined to label that scenario as reckless before they’d even begun to consider the ‘freedom of speech’ dimension.

    Freedom of speech and freedom of expression can always be traced back to freedom of thought. Is that what we’re looking at in this case ? Is it freedom of thought, or more freedom of lack of forethought ?

  36. LarryW2LJ says:

    Maybe the Papal airplane needs better shielding against cosmic and gamma rays.

    Attempts at jocularity aside, I can understand where the Pope is coming from. Free speech has it’s limits and insulting religion ….. ANY religion (get that, Liberals?) is a bad thing. The problem is that most of our elite brethren, who make that a daily sporting event against Judaism and Christianity, don’t seem to realize the consequences of their actions unless their own mortality is involved.

  37. Phil_NL says:

    Papabile,

    I’d say that is a verse far out of context; it’s at the end of the parabel where servants are entrusted with money while the master/king is away (the versions differ a bit among the evangelists, is my impression). then is described how the returning king deals with the various servants: those who were productive, and have increased the money entrusted to them, and those who hid it, and was useless. Then follows that verse. It would be beyond odd not to read it as something that has application after the Judgement. It’s hardly an injuction to freelance on the Lord’s behalf before that time; it’s an (allegorical, I’d say) desccription of what the Lord will do/have done on His return.

    YoungLatinMassGuy,
    Sadly, one of the tenets of islam is that mohammad was the perfect man. In other words, he cannot do wrong. Point out this fact, and at best a muslim will feel slightly embarrassed and starts to look for some wiggle room. At worst he’ll say “about time we emulate that!” The ISIS chaps do.

    islam is immune to both outside notions of decency as well as reason. That is it’s danger (and why the Regensburg speech was an instant classic).

  38. Phil_NL says:

    LarryW2LJ,

    No, “insulting ANY religion” isn’t wrong. Insulting false, twisted religions is exactly what those religions deserve, and in fact the truth is often insulting to them already (One of my earlier points was that if you concede to the other’s feelings of being insulted, the other is the one with the power over what you can say or do, as there is no objective way of saying that one falsely claims to be insulted).

    Of course, in many cultures the followers of said religions may also feel insulted. That may make a particular insult to a false religion a moral wrong, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if it serves as a teachable moment, there could be good it – it might even be an obligation.
    In my neck of the woods, Christianity came through saints who’d take an axe, and cut down wodan’s oak. (or donar, or whatever version of the heathen deities that were worshipped) Think that wasn’t insulting? Saint Boneface was killed, presumably for such antics. Yet he did the Right Thing.

    That some people will go around insulting people for it’s own sake doesn’t mean that the entire concept is wrong. It just means that they’re not particularly productive in bringing about good. But false religions have no right not to be insulted. And if their followers get upset about that, that is their problem, their bad – not ours. And if they make it our problem, well, God bless the Marines.

  39. LarryW2LJ says:

    Phil-NL,

    I understand your point and agree, but I don’t think Charlie Hebdo was insulting with the objective of conversion in mind. I think it was just to be insulting for it’s own sake, as you so aptly put it. And that’s the type of insulting that I meant. That seems to be they type of insulting that’s near and dear to all Liberal’s hearts – especially when it comes to Catholics.

  40. donato2 says:

    http://ilsismografo.blogspot.com/2015/01/filippine-papa-francesco-alle-famiglie.html

    Somewhat off topic, but in the Philippines Pope Francis strongly praised Humanae Vitae. He had done so before, in an interview with the Corriere della Sera, but this time it came in a public address. In the address he also condemned the “ideological colonization” that is seeking to destroy the family.

    This gives me some hope for the apostolic exhortation that will following the next session of the synod on the family. The implications for his views on the Church’s discipline concerning communion for the remarried are not clear however. Pope Francis emphasized the need for mercy in the confessional when it comes to contraception. This might suggest a view that the remarried without breaking of sexual relations could sufficiently repent to receive communion.

  41. Rob22 says:

    There is Christian genocide going on in Nigeria right now. It would have been nice if the Pope and Imams could have addressed that!

    Yes, this is bringing underlying anti-Catholicism out but it is also bringing legitimate criticism and concern out.

    Steve Moore of the WSJ wrote a blistering attack on the Pope aligning with radical greens a week ago. Moore is a cradle Catholic and orthodox.

    Michael Savage is starting to do a overview of some of the bad Popes. To point out Popes are just men too and Savage is not anti-Catholic. He mentioned Pius 12 and said he helped Jews during WW2 and the criticism of him is wrong.

    Rush pointed out the Venezuelan bishops don’t like the Pope glorifying Marxism/socialism in light of the situation in their country and have publicly said so.

    It’d be nice if the Pope would preach and talk a more Catholic/Christian-centric vision.

  42. Papabile says:

    I was trying to be ironic…Didn’t work. Mea culpa…..

  43. CrimsonCatholic says:

    The Cobbler, I couldn’t agree more

    LarryW2LJ, I agree as well. Keep in mind, this same paper has had some nasty cartoons of Pope Benedict and one that was mentioned earlier depicting the Holy Trinity committing act of sodomy. They insult for the sake of insulting.

  44. Latin Mass Type says:

    Not on the subject of Charlie Hebdo but on the subject of The Holy Father and the media…

    He has spoken about marriage and contraception while in the Philippines:

    Crux article

    NCRegister article

    I think it’s also making the mainstream media–perhaps in small type at the bottom of the newsfeed.

    In the middle of the Crux article I see a web ad for Transcendental Meditation. Sigh.

  45. DFWShook says:

    The Pope first and foremost is a religious leader not a political leader. As a society we should uphold and defend free speech no matter how disrespectful it is, but on the individual basis (which is what the Pope is discussing here) one should be much more respectful. This is no different than what parents (in the West) teach their children. I’m reminded of Christ’s responses to questions about about life and the politics of the day (Roman control over Judea) . His response was always about the heart and soul of the individual man.

  46. That Guy says:

    I agree that no printed communication, however vulgar, blasphemous, or insulting can ever justify murder. But is freedom of expression absolute? In many European nations, for instance, any communications deemed racist or homophobic could land you in jail or fined for “hate speech”. So… at what point do we have a responsibility to self-censure? As a Christian, I am offended by Robert Maplethorpe’s image of Jesus in a jar of urine or the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary adorned in elephant dung (leave aside for the sake of this discussion whether such “art” is worthy of government funding). I do not presume the right to murder those who would do such things. But if that’s okay, is everyone ready to support the rights of Muslims to peaceably march through the streets of Paris bearing posters of cartoon images of cartoonists being murdered, or Christians in Time’s Square burning Robert Maplethorpe in effigy, calling for his death (while not posing an imminent threat to his well being)? If protesters can march through the streets of New York calling for “more dead white cops,” then why can’t Westboro Baptist call more more dead homosexuals in veteran’s cemeteries? Aren’t the two equally absurd?

    It would seem that we have to decide how absolute freedom of expression truly is. It would seem if the majority of decent people were to publicly scorn and shame those who abuse their freedom of expression, and not purchase their publications in protest of incivility, the publishers would eventually change their behavior or lose their platform. The reason we should scorn such vulgar publications as C.H. has nothing to do with fear or terrorist attack, but simply because we respect each other, and should not tolerate incivility. We can and must protect our freedom of expression against those who, like the Paris shooters, would deny us, but lets not overlook another threat to our freedom of expression- that fools would squander it on useless exercises in incivility for it’s own sake. The cartoonists of C.H. are not heroes of freedom of expression- they were virulent abusers of it. I’m not excusing nor justifying their murder. God rest their souls.

    “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.”
    – George Washington

    “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”
    – Benjamin Franklin

  47. The Masked Chicken says:

    Morally speaking, there is not, nor never can there be absolutely free speech. Speech acts, as all other acts, are judged by their moral content, weather they are permissible or impermissible. It is unequivocally clear that Charlie Hebdo is guilty of sin in their speech act. There are nine ways to be an accessory to sin:
    Command
    Counsel
    Consent
    Provocation
    Praise and Flattery
    Participation
    Silence
    Concealment
    Defense of the evil done.

    In the case of Charlie Hebdo, they are guilty of the sin of provocation to anger when no such speech act was needed. There are other ways to show that Islam is wrong than by mocking Mohammed. It is counter-productive, it enrages (thus closing off rational discourse), and it is mean-spirited.

    Humor acts, of which Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons are supposed to be, have certain parts to them. One such part is the target of the humor. If one knows that a humor act will cause the target to sin, then according to St. Paul in Romans 14:14 – 21 and 1 Corinthians 8: 4 – 13, we ought not to provoke our weaker brothers:

    Rom 14: 14 – 21
    “I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

    Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.”

    1Co 8: 4 – 10
    “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

    Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.

    Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”

    This does not mean that we cannot argue against Islam. This does not mean that we cannot show the moral flaws of Mohammed. It does mean that we cannot mock Mohammed, especially, if in doing so, we wound the conscience of someone who may be worshiping him as an idol.

    There are, really two sins, here, and two sinners: Charlie Hebdo for using their freedom to cause another to sin and the shooters for not having the self-control to not respond to the perceived blasphemy by force. Unlike many misguided world leaders in government and the media, I have some idea of how speech acts, especially those purporting to be satire, are morally bound and processed. They have not thought deeply on this issue. I have. The morality of humor is one of my areas of study. Unfortunately, we have too many dilettantes making uninformed remarks about what should and should not be morally permissible speech. The Christian moral analysis is the only one that is both rational and coherent, so I won’t debate a foolish notion of, “Who are you to say what I can and cannot say?” I may say, without sinning, anything that Christ could say if he were in my state and my situation that would not break connection with the will of the Divine nature. Man and God must agree before a speech act becomes morally licit.

    Civil licity of a speech act does not make the act morally acceptable, merely tolerated, for the act, itself, maybe outside of what is morally acceptable. In other words, speech must reflect the kind of God to whom it would be acceptable. In the push for the right to say anything, one risks creating a God who would tolerate anything.

    Man has free will so he can say anything, but man has a rational soul and the Law, however obliquely, written in his heart, so that he should not say certain things. It is not for civil government to make the decision, in itself, as to what is permissible or impermissible speech, but governments must support those groups that do have that right. There can be only one consistent voice in the matter or else one risks having a hundred different competing ideas of free speech, which then will devolve into anything goes. One cannot give rights to every point of view.

    In the end Charlie Hebdo and the shooters both failed to listen to St. Paul’s wisdom [Ephesian 4 :29 – 32]:

    “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear.
    And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
    Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice,
    and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

    I know the shooters were not Christians, but, not being rational, there weren’t really human, either. They showed that the so-called self-control or submission that is the word, Islam, doesn’t really have much teeth when it comes to submitting oneself to either reason or goodness. I cannot say that Islam is a religion of peace. I can say that it is a religion of loneliness, since Christianity recognizes and lives with the impurities and weaknesses of it members in order that they may one day know love, but Islam kills all who would, for a moment, be impure or weak since they cannot think beyond the moment.

    The Chicken

  48. Phil_NL says:

    Dear Chicken,

    I still disagree with the notion that ” It does mean that we cannot mock Mohammed, especially, if in doing so, we wound the conscience of someone who may be worshiping him as an idol.”

    If it is wounding for the sake of wounding I might agree*, but if it is wounding to bring forth the dark side of false prohets, to show the vileness in the idolatry (or heresy, that’s debatable) or the threat to civilization (the secular effect), we can, nay we should mock. We should use all means at our disposal to expose the fact such idolatry is fundamentally flawed – and islam is fundamentally flawed, both spiritually and civilly. In fact, it’s incompatible with civilization. If mockery or insults – both at the determination of the enemy camp, nota bene, so hardly a yardstick – can make that clear, so be it.

    * And the crew behind Charlie Hebdo had a penchant for that. Yet the crucial element is that one judges this by its intention, and not by the reaction from muslims or others who feel offended by this or that. The rightfulness of an act – and now I’m speaking in the moral sense – does not depend on what others think of it, nor should we ever allow such a fallacy to gain ground. If one wants to critize work printed in Charlie Hebdo, do so for the intention – but not for the effects. Then we’re giving away ammunition to the enemy, which is always unwise.

  49. Cantor says:

    Christ himself sometimes taught different lessons in different situations.

    He did, after all, teach that if we are struck we should turn the other cheek.

    But when people were turning His Father’s house into a den of thieves, he went after them with a whip.

  50. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    I would say that the Holy Father made a fairly balanced reply to the obvious question. We all have a duty to speak out, even when it goes against prevailing culture. But we also have a duty not to become donor material for a haemorrhoid transplant when we die.

  51. The Masked Chicken says:

    Phil_NL wrote,

    “If one wants to critize work printed in Charlie Hebdo, do so for the intention – but not for the effects. Then we’re giving away ammunition to the enemy, which is always unwise.”

    I was not criticizing for the consequences of the act, but the intention. The whole thing comes down to the sin of scandal. In the Summa Theologica II.II Q 43, St. Thomas comments:

    “On the contrary, Jerome in expounding Matthew 15:12, “Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word,” etc. says: “When we read ‘Whosoever shall scandalize,’ the sense is ‘Whosoever shall, by deed or word, occasion another’s spiritual downfall.'”

    I answer that, As Jerome observes the Greek skandalon may be rendered offense, downfall, or a stumbling against something. For when a body, while moving along a path, meets with an obstacle, it may happen to stumble against it, and be disposed to fall down: such an obstacle is a skandalon.

    In like manner, while going along the spiritual way, a man may be disposed to a spiritual downfall by another’s word or deed, in so far, to wit, as one man by his injunction, inducement or example, moves another to sin; and this is scandal properly so called.

    Now nothing by its very nature disposes a man to spiritual downfall, except that which has some lack of rectitude, since what is perfectly right, secures man against a fall, instead of conducing to his downfall. Scandal is, therefore, fittingly defined as “something less rightly done or said, that occasions another’s spiritual downfall…

    On the other hand, active scandal may be understood in two ways, directly and accidently. The scandal is accidental when it is beside the agent’s intention, as when a man does not intend, by his inordinate deed or word, to occasion another’s spiritual downfall, but merely to satisfy his own will. On such a case even active scandal is not a special sin, because a species is not constituted by that which is accidental.

    Active scandal is direct when a man intends, by his inordinate word or deed, to draw another into sin, and then it becomes a special kind of sin on account of the intention of a special kind of end, because moral actions take their species from their end, as stated above (I-II, 1, 3; I-II, 18, 4,6). Hence, just as theft and murder are special kinds of sin, on account of their denoting the intention of doing a special injury to one’s neighbor: so too, scandal is a special kind of sin, because thereby a man intends a special harm to his neighbor, and it is directly opposed to fraternal correction, whereby a man intends the removal of a special kind of harm. ”

    Charlie Hebdo knew that their publication would be offensive to some Moslems. They has reasonable expectation, given past incidences, that it would cause some to sin. Did they do it to goad the Moslems? That would distinguish between active and passive scandal. I have not followed the story well enough to know their intentions. My guess is, since they are an equal-opportunity insulter, that their intentions were, probably, passive and not targeted towards causing only Moslems to sin, so the sin would be passive scandal, but scandal, it is.

    No, one does not have the right to mock Mohammed in any sort of serious fashion in that implies that one has made a judgment one is not entitled to make: his eternal destiny. God will judge him based on things we can only know in part, at best. One may mock him in play, unless doing so would harm the bond of charity we owe to our neighbor. There are many gentle mocking St. Peter jokes, for example, that St. Peter, himself, would have probably laughed at, but there are no even playful mocking references allowed to Mohammed. Does this mean that Islam doesn’t really understand humor? Maybe.

    While one does not have the right to scandalously mock Mohammed, charity demands that one speak the truth about him. To mock in this context would be to make an unprovoked attack; to speak the truth would be to enlighten. I am all for explaining, in charity, how Mohammed got things wrong. That is an obligation we owe to our neighbor, but mocking is not the same as explaining. If our purpose is to convert our brother, I fail to see how non-playful mocking can be any sort of useful or morally permissible approach. Some people, unfortunately, so identify with Mohammed that they feel to mock him is to mock them. One does not have a right to mock the evil in one man in the hopes that it will bring out the good in another. If we had a competition in trying to convert a person with one side using mockery and the other side using reason and charity, which side is likelier to win?

    This does not mean that I have to speak neutrally about Mohammed and it certainly does not mean that I should honor him. It does mean that I should tailor my speech so as to make the best use of the time I have with my neighbor. I can use that time to guide him to the truth or scandalize him to the point that no communication is possible. The problem in the West is not the mocking part – they have that down, cold. The problem is that they don’t know how to speak the truth in charity.

    I hear far too much mocking in atheist circles to think that it really has much to sell it. In fact, the mindset can become such a vicious habit that spills over into other areas of life.

    The Chicken

  52. Phil_NL says:

    Dear Chicken,

    Your argument about not causing another to sin is laudable, but – especially in this case – besides the point. We’re talking about people for who our very existence – as Christians – is an occasion for sin. They targetted a magazine that was especially high on their list of ‘offended-by’, but if Charlie hebdo would never have published anything, they’d simply had taken the next on the list. We’re talking about people who feel insulted by the fact we don’t submit to their false religion, and will kill simply to make others submit. Our actions cannot save them from the path they’ve taken.

    Secondly, “If we had a competition in trying to convert a person with one side using mockery and the other side using reason and charity, which side is likelier to win?” is, I’m afraid, also way too rosy. In some cases you’ll be surely right, but the problem with islam is the following: once one accepts its basic premises – one has to submit absolutely to allah, and the quran and life of mohammed are the guidelines for that, beyond reason(ing) and beyond change – all the rest logically follows. The illogical aspect of islam is situated at the root: an image of God which is truely an illogical caricature (and one may wonder about the source of it…). I fear that the only way to break down this barrier is to utterly destroy islam. Not argue from a reasonable perspective, but first breaking down the edifice. Rather like bootcamp in the military. Only then can one begin to build.

    An individual muslim can be a good neighbour, and outstanding citizen, and as righteous in the eyes of God as any of us. But never underestimate the fundamental flaws, evil even, inherent in islam. The man can be saved, the institution is way beyond that.

  53. The Masked Chicken says:

    I mentioned, above that maybe Islam might not have a sense of humor. Let me be more technical about that. There is something in humor theory called a humor killer. That is a topic or word or action that completely shuts down the processing of humor in an individual or group. It is not, necessarily, a taboo, per se. For instance, a person with morbid arachnophobia would be incapable of laughing at spider jokes because they could not distance themselves enough from the immediacy of the emotional response to consider a world where spiders were okay and, hence a permissible element in the humorous scripts. Humor killers act as stop or halting commands in a computer program.

    Unfortunately, it seems that Mohammed is a humor killer in Islam. This means that ANY attempt to invoke humor using Mohammed will be doomed in a conversation with a devout Moslem. Unfortunately, this stop rule is built into the Islamic code. I don’t see any way around it. This is why mocking Mohammed will never work to promote a conversation with them. Charlie Hebdo knew this. They were not naive.

    I would have had more respect for them if they had been making rational arguments. They were not. They should not have been killed, but at the same time, they should not have expected Moslems to laugh with their attempts at humor, so, why bother doing it, given that they knew it was a sure-fire way to tick them off? They did it because they could. Basically, they did it because they are spoiled brats who think they have license to do anything in the name of free speech. The Moslems shouldn’t have killed them, but, at the same time, who would have blamed them if they marched in the streets along side of Christians and every other group Charlie Hebdo mocked? The Moslems went ballistic, in part, because the rest of the West played too nicely with Charlie Hebdo. When Disney was boycotted a few years ago, were only Christians involved? I doubt it. My point is that free speech laws have a purpose and they can be misused. When they are, society as a whole should respond. In this case, it might have saved lives.

    The Chicken

  54. The Masked Chicken says:

    This is so cool. It’s just like having a ham radio conversation, except without the code :)
    I miss the TALK function on the old VAX machines – it splits the screen in half so that one can have a real time text communication.

    Phil_NL wrote:

    “The illogical aspect of islam is situated at the root: an image of God which is truely an illogical caricature (and one may wonder about the source of it…). I fear that the only way to break down this barrier is to utterly destroy islam. Not argue from a reasonable perspective, but first breaking down the edifice. Rather like bootcamp in the military. Only then can one begin to build.”

    Sad, at least since the Fourteen-Century, you may be right. Does this, in your opinion mean an inevitable war? For my own part, I fear this might be the case.

    The Chicken

  55. Phil_NL says:

    Dear Chicken,

    As for your last question: not necessarily in our lifetimes. Not to mention that a full-out war with islamic countries would be simply suicidal on their part, and that is unlikely to change. The point there is not that islam will not commit suicide – plenty of examples in the more extreme regions of islam of suicide attacks – but rather that after they commit suicide, we’ll be the ones still standing and have ‘won’ by default. That is known too, so I think that scenario is unlikely.
    But will the West be harassed by terrorists, and perhaps with insurgency-style fighting in Europe? It is very much possible, though even in that sense I won’t rate the actual capabilities of the forces of islam very highly.
    But what will happen is that we’ll be more and more under seige, not unlike Israel for the past 70 years. It may not be all-out war, but it will definately be a conflict – it is one already. And the ebb and flow of such a conflict is what worries me. Basically, the other side only has to win once, we have to win every time. We’re capable of doing that, but are we willing?

    First of all, many in the West are simply failing to grasp we have a battle on our hands to begin with. Optimists wll think islam will come around (it won’t, its internal mechamisms to prevent anything even close to independent reasoning or an Enlightenment period are much too strong). Others will see an ally in islam, or simply think about economics (where the idea we need immigrants is actually also a very big fallacy, but that aside). Many will choose to ignore the issue, and if daily life is only occasionally disrupted, one can continue that attitude for a very long time.
    Secondly, even if/when people realise we’re in a battle, it’s not uncommon to first be cavalier about it, and then loose heart in what turns out to be an unexpectedly protacted fight. That in turn can lead to accomodating tendencies, or the oposite: ‘destroy the village to save it’.

    So in a nutshell, it is a fight, but primarily a fight of the mind. The paramount issue is if we can summon enough spine to fight the good fight, and at the same time keep our darker impusles in check. In either sense, Europe is at a far greater risk than the rest of the West. And no fundamental reconcilliation is possible, as our very existence is the casus belli, regardless of how hot or cold the conflict gets. The best we can hope for is that the other side will see open hostilities as inopportune, and that we manage to at least partly break down their ideological foundations in the meantime.

  56. benedetta says:

    “and the MSM has a conga line dance”

    Yes, exactly.

  57. Gratias says:

    There is a place for humor in public discourse. Great damage was inflicted on Catholicism by Monthy Python’s “Life of Brian” and Mel Brooke’s ” History of the World Part I.” We never see lampoons of the Jews or Islamists. The Jews do have a great sense of humor, however, and frequently have self-referential jokes ( e.g., what is a Jewish dilemma? …. Free ham!). But the Islamists will kill you for it. If this is not immediately possible President BHO and Hillary Clinton will make sure that the American Coptic Christian that made the video “Innocence of Muslims” goes to jail instead of the Al-Quaeda Islamists that killed our Ambassador to Lybia and three of our bravest soldiers. Incidentally the Innocence of Muslims video was PC-ostracized from YouTube by Google so that few were able to watch it at all. I thought it was quite funny IMO.

    My take on how to counteract Islamism (not extreme Islamic radicals or Militant Muslim extremists or other 3-word designations: ISLAMISTS) is to shame them. Interview women who must forgo their clytoris in Syria and Mosul, girls sold as sex slaves processing 100 jihadists a day in the Islamic State brothels, women who cannot drive in Saudi Arabia, girls who got their nose cut off for going to school in Afghanistan, Coptic or Pakistani Christians who had their Church blown up by suicide Islamist bombers on Christmas Eve. The Truth shall make you free.

  58. KAS says:

    My impression was that the statement on the human rights was the core answer and the rest was a digression pertaining to prudence in the exercise of those rights.

    I wish this Pope were not so sloppy with his speech. To me, the change in topic from the basic statement of rights into the prudential use of those rights was obvious. However, Pope Francis failed to clarify that shift and so left what he said out there to be misinterpreted every which way. I expect him to practice greater prudence!

  59. Shonkin says:

    As much as I condemn the murderers, I do not identify with Charlie Hebdo. The magazine regularly runs extremely insulting cartoons, not just about the false prophet but also about the Holy Trinity, the Blessed Virgin, and Catholics and Jews in general.
    Je ne suis pas Charlie!
    I do wish His Holiness had been more appropriate in his metaphor, though. The Charlie staff were the guy who beats a pit bull and then wonders why he got mauled. They provoked a murderous sect and got murdered. What were they expecting?