Pope Francis has defended freedom of expression following last week's attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo - but also stressed its limits.
The pontiff said religions had to be treated with respect, so that people's faiths were not insulted or ridiculed.
To illustrate his point, he told journalists that his assistant could expect a punch if he cursed his mother.

"If my good friend Dr. Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch," Francis said half-jokingly, throwing a mock punch his way. "It's normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others."
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.

Many people around the world have defended the right of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to publish inflammatory cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed in the wake of the massacre by Islamic extremists at its Paris offices and subsequent attack on a kosher supermarket in which three gunmen killed 17 people.
Others, though, have noted that in virtually all societies, freedom of speech has its limits, from laws against Holocaust denial to racially motivated hate speech.
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.
Francis, who has called on Muslim leaders in particular to speak out against Islamic extremism, went a step further Thursday when asked by a French journalist about whether there were limits when freedom of expression meets freedom of religion.
"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 said. "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."
Francis said he was concerned primarily for the safety of the faithful who come to see him in droves, and said he had spoken to Vatican security officials who are taking "prudent and secure measures."
"I am worried, but you know I have a defect: a good dose of carelessness. I'm careless about these things," he said. But he admitted that in his prayers, he had asked that if something were to happen to him that "it doesn't hurt, because I'm not very courageous when it comes to pain. I'm very timid."

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