Former CNN talk-show host Piers Morgan has taken strong exception to comments by Pope Francis on the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
The Pope said Thursday that while violence is wrong, it is also wrong for people to mock the faiths of others.
Speaking to reporters while traveling by plane to the Philippines, Francis said certain language is virtually certain to provoke an angry, violent reaction from someone.
“You cannot react violently,” the Pope said. He added, however, that if a good friend “says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. This is normal.”
Francis added that “you cannot provoke, you cannot insult other people’s faiths, you cannot make fun of faith.”
And the Pope does believe it is a “provocation” to “make other people’s religions a joke” because “things can happen” as a result, Mediaite reported.
In his column in London’s Daily Mail, Morgan, a Catholic, lambasted the Pope, saying he had “endorsed violence as a way to respond to insults.”
“Here was my Holy Father, supposedly a man who espouses the philosophy of turning the other cheek, telling us all to whack someone in the face if they insult us,” Morgan wrote.
“Well, isn’t that exactly what al-Qaida did in Paris, metaphorically speaking?”
By the Pope’s yardstick, “weren’t the Charlie Hebdo staff guilty of being the very ‘provocateurs’ that he says are unacceptable and thus worthy of violent response?” Morgan asked.
Morgan later described the Pope’s remarks on freedom of speech “ridiculous and dangerous,” before concluding, “I don’t want my Pope, or any religious leader, to ever endorse any form of violence for anything. Their job is to promote peace, and they should stick to it.”
The Vatican “has had to do some damage control in the hours since Pope Francis made his initial remarks on the subject,” Mediaite noted. Early Friday morning, a Vatican representative said Francis “has not advocated violence with his words on the flight.”
The spokesman added that the Pope’s comments were “spoken colloquially and in a friendly, intimate manner among colleagues and friends on the journey.”
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Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils – 1 Timothy 4:1 (KJV).
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction – 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry – 2 Timothy 4:3-5 (KJV).
Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: -2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 (KJV).