Has the Pope been taking advice from Len Brown?

Le Brown is a catholic, I’d say good catholic, but hey…anyway…he once claimed that he believed in transparency, but with limits.

“I will always front up. I will give you the straight answers, always with a limit.”


“Transparency is not a perfect thing,”

Well he seems to have been having a whisper in the Pope’s ear about such thing, at least on freedom of speech.

Because the Pope has come out saying that he abhors the violence in Paris, and believes in freedom of speech…but with limits.

Pope Francis said Thursday that while he condemned the Charlie Hebdo attack and defended free speech as a human right, there were “limits” to the freedom of expression.

Francis unequivocally condemned the massacre of a journalists and cartoonists in Paris last week, saying such attacks in the name of God were never justified. However, he also added that one “cannot insult the faith of others,” and such insults would often lead to consequences.  

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” said Francis (making a pretend punch). “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,” he explained. “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.

Limits to free speech is not free speech. The Pope is wrong.

Then again, he also thinks the media should be respectful of religions.

As AP reports, while the Pope made sure that his condemnation of violence was clear, he also urged the media to be respectful of religions:

His pretend punch aside, Francis by no means said the violent attack on Charlie Hebdo was justified. Quite the opposite: He said such horrific violence in God’s name couldn’t be justified and was an “aberration.” But he said a reaction of some sort was to be expected. […]

Recently the Vatican and four prominent French imams issued a joint declaration that, while denouncing the Paris attacks, urged the media to treat religions with respect.

I’ll tell the Pope this for free…I’ll start being respectful of religions when Islamists stop hacking heads off people and subjugating homosexuela, women and people of other beliefs, and when Catholic priest stopping buggering boys.


– Truth Revolt


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  • Alright

    The quoted comments from the Pope are, if accurate, outrageous.


    • Phoenician

      So what else is new?

  • Dave

    The catholic church seems to have a similar stance on their past priests and young boys. We will support the enquiry – within limits.

  • Dave_1924

    No surprises there really is there? An organised religious orders leader saying we are special and can not be criticised or have our values questioned?

    The correct response is simple: We [which ever flavour of religion] follow the ways of our God because of the faith in our HEARTS and we are untroubled by satirical potraits of our God. We understand our God gave all people free will to CHOOSE what path they will take in this world. We disagree with their published satirical vfiew but we are untrouble by their non violent views.

    • Phoenician

      I think it’s a vote of no confidence in any deity to allow their subjects (mortals) to exercise punishments for blasphemy. It’s like saying a so called “omnipotent” deity can’t punish mortals!

  • Rex

    Why is this and previous Popes so benelevant to Islam? It wasn’t like that in the past. Time to harden up Mr Pope!

    • intelligentes candida diva

      I dont think he is benevolent, he is respecting another’s spiritual faith, have you heard of empathising, my guess that is what he was doing?

      • dgrogan

        But how do you think the radicals will interpret his words, ICD?
        Just another soft [redacted] thingy, no doubt, IMO.

        • intelligentes candida diva

          Maybe you are right.
          I imagine the mad murdering lunatics might take the notion to manipulate his words and faith to qualify their acts.

          I believe Pope Francis is honouring his own faith as Gods servant in this very controversial situation.I think he was well intended as a leader but naiive and erroneous to send a mixed message. He ought to have teased it out more but I get what he means and I think Dave_24 below articulates it to my liking , but thats just my opinion

          • Rex

            I’m thinking that the Islamic leaders are talking tough against the west/Christians and the likes of the Pope are talking platitudes! Sorry but I,believe it is time to harden up.

  • Nebman

    When the Pope opens up all the church records on fiddly priests and clergy helping themselves to children, the payoffs, the bribes to authorities to keep things quiet, THEN I’ll believe he is a serious man worth listening to. Until that point he is just another self aggrandized bigot in a stupid hat to borrow a phrase from Tim Minchin.

  • M C Chinaman

    Are Catholic priests still buggering boys? The cases before the courts tend to be historic (in some cases very historic). Given the general awareness and consequent surveillance of the problem, and that in some juristictions there are rules about clergy only having supervised contact with children; I would be somewhat surprised if this was an ongoing problem. I may be naïve but does anyone know of a case of priests fiddling with kids in 2014 or 2013 say?

    • caochladh

      This nonsense has been going on since priests started wearing frocks and seems to be taken as a perk of the job, so why would it just suddenly stop now? I’d say they are just being more careful and selective.

      • Phoenician

        … and silencing accusers. As The Pope says, “freedom of speech” is selective, and doesn’t apply to those criticising religious matters.

        • intelligentes candida diva

          I think you are manipulating his words you are taking them from one context and placing them in another…Wrong!

          • JAFA Gazza

            ICD, with all respect, isnt that what the Jihadi Islamists are doing? Manipulating a cartoon’s (image) and words as meaning somethhing other than what was intended to their millions of followers? You cant admonish one yet support another using the same basline comparative. Radical Islm wants to limit “free speech” to their views on Islam…the pope seems to being in agreement philosophically….so where is the differentiator? Both right? Both wrong?or is one religion “more right than the others…? Its the same old tired and frankly boring story. Religion 1 v Religion 2.

            Its not going to end well.

          • intelligentes candida diva

            I certainly think the Islamic clerics I have listened to in recent days are clever manipulators
            I believe The Pope is sincere and is working to make positive change. In this situation I think he was gullible as he met with 4 Imman who if from what I have seen recently they will be shrewd manipulators and his words reminded me of Islamic talk than his usual down to earth basic talk.
            Of course Im biased I like Pope Francis. :-)
            I did hope he would request for consideration of respect, but at end of the day he made an error because I agree with point in post limited speech is not free speech

          • JAFA Gazza

            Respect yuur beliefs…but i subscribe to a more basic ideology….entertain theories….dont marry them. Religions are, in my view, out dated. They are constructs to control the illiterate. But…when we speak of faith and belief..with degrees of freedom…. then it becomes interestin. Islam – and most hard-line basic religious tenets will try o shackle you into a “belief structure”. Agree all – or upi are not a beleiiver. I cant do that – I see spiritually many good things in many religions…but I cant commit to one and detest/ fight/ subjugate all others.

            Thats why I am…at best Atheist…maybe Agnstic…but more spititual than “subscriptive” Religious.

            Each to their own…just wish we didnt have to kill each other over ideology and…basically…fantasy.

            Keep the ( your) faith! :)

      • intelligentes candida diva

        Lets be very clear while the wrath of society has come on The Catholic Church because priests have been devious with their respected and trusted roles by sexually abusing children , such behaviour is not privvy to priests, therefore I think MC Chinaman makes a very good point and I ask the same question,
        “….. but does anyone know of a case of priests fiddling with kids in 2014 or 2013 say?
        Perhaps there are commenters who are being very selective also
        To answer a question with a question doesnt answer the question

        • caochladh

          Priest’s were singled out for special attention because many perceived them to be “god’s” representatives on earth and as such the disappointment and anguish that they did what they did was greater.

          • intelligentes candida diva

            Greater than who or what?
            Do you mean greater than that for a child smashed by its step father and is left with brain damage for example?
            Do you mean greater than a little girl so abused she has sexually transmitted diseases?
            I think it is the judgement of society based on its own subjective mores that defines the disappointment and anguish as greater or lesser

            For anyone sexually abused its the trust broken and each situation has its own measure.

            I am Catholic and have very strong views about the history of acts that took place, however I can assure you if anyone abused one of my beloved innocent tiny tots the wrath in me would know no ends until I sought vengeance against the perpetrator because its personal and there would be no comparison to my feelings over the abusive clergy

          • caochladh

            “Greater than who or what?” Well, I’m not catholic, so my faith in whatever will not be as great as yours, but I can say that some of my catholic friend’s were greatly disappointed (more so than I) when these revelations surfaced en mass.

          • JAFA Gazza

            Was that a pun? ;)

          • caochladh


          • JAFA Gazza


  • The Accountant

    I don’t mind repercussions so long as it is that someone else using their freedom of speech to voice their displeasure. Anything more than that, I don’t think so.

  • Geoff

    The Islamic terrorists are only doing what the Catholic Church did during the inquisition. Perhaps he is sympathetic as he belongs to an organisation with a history of appalling behaviour towards all manner of people, solely because of their beliefs.

    • intelligentes candida diva

      That may well be so, however The Catholic Church has made progress from that period.
      I think it is more an empathetic view point soley from a Godly spiritual perspective not as a sympathy or support to the erroneous acts by his own or Islamic terrorists

  • Alright

    The Pope: someone “deserves a punch.” What? Like a punch through the heart with a bullet?

    I simply don’t get this!

  • Ilovelife

    Seems to be a bit of prejudice showing up in some of these remarks. I totally agree with freedom of speech but I think it is just plain nasty to insult people, race and yes, even religions, just for the sake of it That’s not to say I don’t think people have the right to do it. It’s just that in certain instances freedom of speech definitely borders on unfounded prejudice and is egregious.

    • dgrogan

      But if there are limits to free speech, who decides when and where, those so called limits apply? You? The Pope? Radical Muslims? Erdoğan? Netenyahu?Putin? Me?

  • dgrogan

    Just another deluded European leader, sadly. How can you have freedom of speech – with limits? And if it were at all possible, who sets those limits?

  • Mikev

    Yes I believe he is wrong but it his right in a free & democratic society to publicly state his “wrongness”

    • JAFA Gazza

      But he is not expousing his peronal views as a citizen. He makes statements as “God’s Representative of the Faith”.

      Like John Key’s texts…is he God’s representative,,,,the head of the Catholic Church…or just a basic priest when he makes these comments/ tweets/ txts… Oh Russell!! Where art Thou????

  • Rodger T

    So much for turn the other cheek like his boss tells him.
    Then again the Catholic church has been insulting and oppressing rational humans since the inception of the church.
    Ridiculous ideas and dogma deserve all the ridicule that can be be thrown at them.

  • JAFA Gazza

    Religions. Ah that old chestnut again. I dont subscribe to any “mainstream” religions. Not because I am any form of heretic…but simply because I chose to live my life with three basic tenets. Dont harm others. Help others. Protect and value your own famiy.

    I dont need shrines. Lectures. And I dont need a 70 year old draped in golden laced clothes sitting on top of a vault of treasures and artworks ( the Vatican has a team of nuns that have a sole job of painstakingly restoring art/ tapestry works….) to tell me how to live.

    Neither will listen or acknowledge the “writings and dictates” of a 2000 year old tooth fairy imaginary friend of intellectually chalenged and suppressed sand farmers.

    Religion – of any kind is a framework of obedience. Subscribe to it and you get some sort of “good thing when you die…”

    Each religion has its own framework. Its own parameters.

    So does the English Premier League. One game…GAME…. different sides. Fans from each will physically hurt and abuse opponent sides. They CRY when their team loses. They riot. They destroy. They herald players earning MILLIONS of pounds a year…respect and adore them as some sort of hero. While paying the equivalent of a weeks salary to take their kids to watch them.

    But you cant shake belief and faith. Spiritual conviction. You are as likely to change the mind of a (insert religious flavour here) to (insert aletrnate religious flavour here) as you are to have a cup of tea with a hard out Chelsea fan and get him to support Tottenham.

    It will NOT happen. We will continue down this spiral of “mine is best – yours is garbage” until the inevitable chaos prevails and us poor buggers look at each other and ask..”How the HELL did it get to this??”

    2015 is, in my opinion, the year of the religious tipping point.

    Be afraid – but more than anything, be AWARE and be vocal. This is OUR New Zealand…learn from overseas….and lets not make the same silly and ultimatley destructive concessions.

    • caochladh

      Exactly! Well put.

    • Alright

      Stand. I’ll vote for you.

    • Rockfield

      You got it Man.

      • JAFA Gazza

        Thanks mate but I dont thin I have got it…..I just would love New Zealanders to wake up and take a bloody position on this before it all gets too hard. We NEED to act. We need to grow some and stand up. The New Zealand Hadith * formerly known as the NZ Herald)

  • Neil

    In my eyes, the Pope just went from hero to zero

  • LesleyNZ

    Which “God” does this Pope worship? This Pope is leading Catholics astray.

  • Pita

    the Pope’s suggestion, that if we don’t lampoon Islam and all its qaint foilbles then everything will be alright…has no bearing in reality, much the same as Neville Chamberlain in 1939.

    • JAFA Gazza

      Its the same message..Catholics agree that you cant “defame” the religion…thus you have no right to “defame” those that disagree with you.

      Now – if he is that “in tune” and observant of the ” non offense” to religious beliefs…….what is his/ the Catholics ( As “God’s” spokesman on earth ) doing about the persecution of the Jews? The kiddy fiddlying priests?

      Religion – ALL of them….. Pfft. Fairy tales and unicorn cats.

  • Goldie

    Freedom with limits is not freedom.

    He says “one cannot insult the faith of others.” It was a view that saw the Catholic church declare Galileo a heretic.

    • JAFA Gazza

      Bang. You a sniper? Brilliant and poinnted. Short succinct and….to the point.

  • spanishbride

    Of course you can insult the faith of others. It happens every day and life goes on. If he said that every action can expect an equal and opposite reaction I would be fine with that as a massacre is not an equal or opposite reaction to a satirical cartoon. I think it is way past time that we gave back an equal and opposite reaction to Islamic terrorists.

  • Effluent

    I wonder what the Satanists have to say about this? Are there any in NZ? Do they all work in IT call centres? I think we should be told.

    Funny to think that they are generally less of a nuisance than the devotees of Islam.

  • Michael

    I am responsible for my reaction to whatever comes my way. The Pope may chose to punch someone; I chose not to. The end.

  • JC

    Good on El Papa.. he just gave the perfect cover for Israel to carry on with reprisals against the Islamists and mongrels in Palestine.