Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A brief translation

[This was quick & dirty, will go back and spruce up as needed.] Pope Francis, in response to a French journalist's question regarding freedom of expression:

"Thanks for the question, it’s an intelligent one. I believe that all and both are [this is an expression that more closely means "both are totally"] fundamental human rights, religious liberty and liberty of expression. One cannot -- but let’s think -- you are French, let’s go to Paris, let’s speak clearly. One cannot hide a truth: everyone has the right to practice one’s religion, one’s own religion without offending [i.e. "without it being considered offensive"], freely. How we do it, we wish for all. Second: One cannot offend, make war, kill in the name of one’s own religion, i.e., in the name of God. To us, that which happens now, it stuns us. But let’s think about our own history: how many wars of religion have we had? You may think of the night of St. Bartholomew; how can this be understood? Even we were sinners in this. But one cannot kill in the name of God. This is an aberration. To kill in the name of God is an aberration. I believe that this is the principal point in terms of religious liberty. One has liberty in this, but without imposing or killing in the name of religion.

As for freedom of expression: one not only has the liberty, the right, but also the obligation to say what one thinks to help the common good. The obligation! Let’s think, if a legislator [literally, "a deputy"] or a senator doesn’t say what he thinks is the right path then he does not collaborate for the common good. Not only these, but many others too. We have the obligation to say openly, to have this liberty, but without seeking to offend, because it is true, one cannot react violently. But if Dr. Gasbarri, a great friend, speaks badly against [i.e. "insults"] my mother, then a punch can be expected. But that’s normal, that’s normal. [i.e., being provocative might lead, unsurprisingly, to a provocation] It ought not be done to provoke, it ought not be done to insult other people’s faith, it ought not be done to mock faith. [Translating the conjugation used "non si puo" is nearly impossible, because in Romance languages, the passive voice is preferred, but the inference is a "one shouldn't" not "it should be prohibited." This is a KEY point.]

Pope Benedict in a speech, I don’t recall precisely where, he spoke of this post-positivist mentality, of post-positivist metaphysics, that led to the belief that in the end religions, [all] religious expressions, are a kind of subculture, which may be tolerated but are of little value, are not part of the Enlightenment culture. And this is part of the heritage of the Enlightenment. And so many people who speak badly about other religions, or religion [i.e., religion in general], they make fun of, let’s say toy with other people’s religions, these people provoke and it might occur what would happen to Dr. Gasbarri if he said something against my mother. That is, there is a limit. Every religion has dignity; every religion that respects life, human life, the human person [emphasis mine]. And I cannot make fun of it. This is a limit and I have taken this sense of limit to say that in freedom of expression there are limits, like that in regard to my mother. I don’t know if I have managed to answer the question."