Concerning the murder of cartoonists by Islamic fascists, the Pope didn’t quite say, “they had it coming”, but just about: he obviously thinks a fair share of the blame lies with the cartoonists.
“It’s true, one cannot react violently, but if Dr. (Alberto) Gasbarri, a great friend, says a swear word against my mother, then he is going to get a punch. But it’s normal, it’s normal. One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.”
The pope said those who “make fun or toy with other people’s religions, these people provoke, and there can happen what would happen to Dr. Gasbarri if he said something against my mother. That is, there is a limit. Every religion has its dignity.”
When it comes to the death penalty, however, being responsible for the consequences of one’s action does not seem to apply. A murderer, no matter how callous and evil never deserves to die:
Pope Francis called for abolition of the death penalty as well as life imprisonment, and denounced what he called a “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice.
“All Christians and people of good will are thus called today to struggle not only for abolition of the death penalty, whether it be legal or illegal and in all its forms, but also to improve prison conditions, out of respect for the human dignity of persons deprived of their liberty. And this, I connect with life imprisonment,” he said. “Life imprisonment is a hidden death penalty.”
The Pope’s view:
Someone who draws a cartoon of Mohammed should not be surprised when he is murdered because, insofar as he was cavalierly offensive, he brought it upon himself. Someone who murders another person should be encouraged to believe he has not brought either the death penalty or even life imprisonment upon himself. The murderer, no matter how foul the murder, has too much human dignity for that.
This is one weird Pope.