Pope wrong to make Charlie Hebdo comments

Pope Francis (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

I am dismayed by the comments Pope Francis made about the murders at Charlie Hebdo earlier this month.

His view is that people, including the media, should be more respectful of religion and not poke fun in the way they do. He could not be more wrong.

Power systems such as governments, financial institutions, the legal system and some of the people within them can and do become corrupt, causing huge amounts of suffering for millions of people affected by their actions.

Religious faiths are no different in this regard, they wield huge power and provide a morality code for their followers: Two strong reasons for scrutiny.

Our defence against corruption and oppression is freedom of speech underpinned by the laws made by man.

The freedom to judge, criticise, investigate and indeed poke fun at those wielding power is critical and cannot be surrendered. It is this very freedom that eventually forced Pope Francis to apologise for the many cases of covered-up child abuse within the church committed by some of the clergy.

No religious faith can be excluded from this process. Our democracy and freedom must not be endangered by weakness in this regard. I think it fitting to end with, Je suis Charlie Hebdo.

Name and address supplied