The Pope has reminded everyone that freedom of speech is not a divine right, and that much like a condom, you should not use it just because you can.
Speaking to journalists in the Philippines, the Pope insisted that people had the right to say anything they like, as long as it didn’t poke fun at all the made up things he believes are important.
The Pope said, “Freedom of expression is absolutely important, yes, it’s just not as important as protecting the fairy stories that I believe actually happened.”
“I think you’ll find history is littered with excellent examples of how letting the church decide what you can say or do turned out to be the best thing for everyone concerned.”
“You can say what you like about anything at all, except the things I care about – then freedom of speech wrong. That is the proper way to manage a freedom.”
“For example, The Catholic church has taught us over the years that you are free tell as many people as you like about the Lord and his Catholic flavoured teachings, but if you’re an abused altar boy you should probably keep that to yourself.”
Pope on freedom of speech
Pope Francis was keen to show it was not just figureheads of religions that should have special protection from freedom of expression, but also the core ideas and beliefs of the religions themselves.
He continued, “It’s a bit like with condoms, you are free to use them whenever you want, except when you’re having sex. Funny hats, balloon animals, these are all acceptable uses of condoms that your are free to express yourself with. You just can’t use them for having sex.”
“Overall I supposed you could say I am in strong support of ‘freedom of expression with some exceptions and controls which I have authority over’ – that is definitely the best way.”