Pope would punch anyone who made fun of mother

Credit: George Mathis

Credit: George Mathis

Turning the other cheek isn't always possible, says Pope Francis, who today said he would punch a friend that made fun of his mother.

The pontiff said he believed in freedom of expression, but certain subjects, such as religion (and apparently mothers) are off limits.

"If my good friend ... speaks badly of my mother, he can expect to get punched," the 78-year-old Bishop of Rome said while punching the air. The BBC has video .

"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others. There is a limit," said Francis.

The cartoonists killed in Paris by militant Islamists would likely disagree.

Today, four of the 12 killed in the attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were laid to rest . The magazine was infamous for mocking the prophet Muhammad, Jesus, the pope, and anyone else the cartoonists could draw.

Religious leaders have a habit of trying to silence anyone that disagrees with them, according to Voltaire, Galileo, Martin Luther, and, more recently, Raif Badawi, a Saudi blogger sentenced to 1,000 public lashes for suggesting religious reform.

Badawi, who received his first 100 lashes last Friday, may not survive round two tomorrow, his wife says.

In the U.S., freedom of speech has few limits, which makes it difficult to shut up stupid people.

That's OK. Being exposed to ideas you don't agree with is no excuse for violence.

Still, it's never wise to say something bad about someone's mother. Especially near the pope. As the "Bishop of Bling" discovered , he's got a powerful hook.

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