Catholic jurist slams Charlie Hebdo for reprinting Muhammad cartoons, warns of ‘dangerous or negative’ consequences



No one seems to consider the primary risk of bowing to death threats and violent intimidation: it only encourages more. Does Giuseppe Dalla Torre want Catholics of future generations to live on their knees, bowing to every threat? Apparently so.

“Jurist Parrots Pope: ‘Don’t Mock Muhammad,’” by Jules Gomes, ChurchMilitant.com, September 14, 2020:

ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) – A top Catholic jurist is echoing Pope Francis’ warning against caricaturing Muhammad, arguing that the Western tradition of satire must not be used to target people of other religious or ethnic backgrounds.

Giuseppe Dalla Torre slammed the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for reprinting the “controversial caricatures of Muhammad” to coincide with the trial of the Muslim terrorists who massacred 12 staff in the editorial offices of the Paris publication in 2015.

Writing in Avvenire — a publication of the Italian Episcopal Conference — Torre reignites the free speech debate in a Saturday column, stressing the need to consider the “dangerous or negative” consequences towards others even exercising the right to “freedom of expression.”

Torre, who shares a bond with Pope Francis, contends that “it is not lawful for anyone to offend the legitimate and deepest feelings of others, starting with family affections.”

“Who would tolerate public satirical barbs at their mother? And for every believer, religion is a mother,” Torre, who is also a canonist, argues.

As Muslim mobs raged against the Muhammad cartoons, Pope Francis addressed the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo staff, insisting there were limits to offending and ridiculing the faiths and beliefs of others.

En route to the Philippines, the pontiff referred to papal trip organizer Alberto Gasparri, who was standing by his side onboard the papal plane.

“If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch,” Francis said while pretending to throw a punch in his direction.

“It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others,” Francis added. “Each religion has its dignity. I cannot make fun of it.”…

“No, it’s not normal to punch someone who insults you; the pope’s Christ certainly didn’t think so. Verbal provocation is never an excuse for violence — that’s the wife-beater’s defense,” wrote columnist Polly Toynbee in The Guardian.

“Is he saying we must respect any old cult — followers of Black Sabbath, Odin, Scientology, astrology? Or is it the size of a faith that earns it the right to gag mockery?” Toynbee asked.

National Review‘s Charles Cooke accused Francis of giving “succor to the notion that those who give gratuitous offense should expect retaliation.”

Cooke elaborated: “The language he [the pope] used was imprecise, poorly judged and terribly, terribly timed. There is never — ever — an excuse for violence against peaceful critics. It is not in any way ‘normal’ to see such foul play.”…

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