Pope says he would punch someone who curses his mother

by Staff, |
Pope Francis leads the First Vespers and Te Deum prayers in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican December 31, 2014. | REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

MANILA, Philppines (Christian Examiner) -- Pope Francis has condemned the Paris attacks, but also said that there are limits to free speech. While the Catholic leader is currently taking a tour of Asia, he also elaborated on his ideas about the Paris terror attacks and the right to criticize faith.

The Pope was speaking to reporters during a mid-flight press conference when he said that no one should ever "kill in the name of God." However, no one should "insult other people's faith" either, even in the name of free speech.

"One cannot make war (or) kill in the name of one's own religion," Francis explained "To kill in the name of God is an aberration."

He used his friend, Alberto Gasparri, as an example. Gasparri organizes papal trips and was nearby during the conversation, The New York Daily News reported.

"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," the pontiff said. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."

"There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others. They are provocateurs. And what happens to them is what would happen to Dr. Gasparri if he says a curse word against my mother. There is a limit," he continued.

Although the Vatican is a religious authority, they have discouraged the idea that they are a target. Officials told Pope Francis that they are taking "prudent and secure measures." Francis is taking precautions of his own as well – prayer.

I pray that if something happens, "it doesn't hurt," he said. I'm not very courageous when it comes to pain. I'm very timid."

"I'm in God's hands," he added.

The Pope is heading to the Philippines, where millions of Catholics are already excited about the visit. He will visit the eastern Leyte province, which was battered by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and left many dead and thousands more homeless.