Pope Speaks Out Against Insulting Religions

Pope Speaks Out Against Insulting ReligionsPope Speaks Out Against Insulting Religions

Pope Francis on Thursday condemned any killing in God’s name, 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 the deadly attack by gunmen to the office of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last week in which 12 people died, AFP reported.

“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 also said “each religion has its dignity” and “there are limits.”

“You cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faith, and you cannot mock it. 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 a separate statement, Pope called on the Philippine government on Friday to tackle corruption and hear the cries of the poor suffering from “scandalous social inequalities” in Asia’s most Catholic country.

The pope went to the Malacanang presidential palace for an official welcoming ceremony led by President Benigno Aquino as tens of thousands of ecstatic Filipinos lined the streets.

“It is now, more than ever, necessary that political leaders be outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good,” he said.

Aquino took office in 2010 on the promise of transparency, good governance and battling corruption to lift the Philippines from poverty.

But he has struggled to shed the country’s image as one of the most corrupt in Asia as he continues to defend his allies, while at the same time chasing down politicians, bureaucrats and generals associated with the past administration.