In fact, at least one cousin, one sister and a handful of friends have posted favorable remarks about the current Pope over on FB. I invite you all to read this carefully, and think about how you feel about this man now.
Here are important paragraphs:
""He staunchly defended freedom of expression, but then he said there were limits, especially when people mocked religion.
"If my good friend Doctor Gasparri [who organises the Pope's trips] speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched," he said, throwing a pretend punch at the doctor, who was standing beside him.
"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit.""
The first thing I would note is that this is a man who says he would physically assault a close associate if the close associate said something negative about his mother. That would be a violation of the law. The Pope is stating he would use physical violence in exchange for an insult directed at a third party. That Is Not Okay.
The second thing I would note is that this man flatly states "You cannot make fun of the faith of others".
Can you really listen to a man who says something so wildly at odds with every conception of freedom of speech and expression which I have ever heard or read? If he would punch his friend for insulting his mother, what would he do to me, if I said any of the usual things I said about Catholicism?
The Pope has every right to claim that he favors free speech. But he is a liar. But then, what do you expect? He's a Pope.
"“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.”"
I'm finding this _particularly offensive_, since John Locke is who our current consensus on blasphemy derives from -- and he was French. There is _no way_ we can negotiate on this. Blasphemy has got to be tolerated.
This is still being fought at the UN level. For a while, some nations were pressuring the UN to take on blasphemy, as an infringement of freedom of religion (Switzerland more or less takes this approach, maybe?), but that seems to be ebbing again.