Vatican newspaper: Being PC, disdainful of religion is 'sad paradox'

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — A world that carefully adheres to the dictates of being “politically
correct” yet refuses to respect people’s faith in God is a “sad
paradox,” the Vatican newspaper said.

Jan. 6 article, headlined “The Charlie Hebdo question: Manipulated
faith,” came in response to the front cover of the latest issue of the
French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

the one-year anniversary of when two Islamic extremists raided the magazine’s
offices and killed 12 people, the magazine featured a drawing of an angry God
running with blood spattered on him and a machine gun slung over his back. The
headline read: “One year on: the assassin is still out there.”

article in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, said the satirical dig was nothing new “because
behind the misleading banner of uncompromising secularism, the French weekly is
forgetting once again what religious leaders of every faith have been repeating
for a long time in rejecting violence in the name of religion — that using God
to justify hatred is true blasphemy, as Pope Francis has reiterated several

the latest cover design for Charlie Hebdo, the article said, “one
observes the sad paradox of a world that is ever more careful about being ‘politically
correct’ almost to the point of being ridiculous … but that does not want to
recognize and respect every believer’s faith in God,” regardless of what
religion it be.

The Vatican newspaper article quoted Anouar Kbibech, president of the French council of the Muslim faith,
saying the drawing “harms all believers of different religions. It is a
caricature that is unhelpful at a time when we need to come together side by
side.” The French Conference of Catholic Bishops questioned whether this
“sort of controversy was the kind of thing France needed,” according
to the article.

deadly attack Jan. 7, 2015, perpetrated by two brothers with reported ties to a
branch of al-Qaida, was said to be in retaliation to the publication of
cartoons mocking Islam’s prophet Muhammad. The killings sparked much debate about
the role of satire and just how far freedom of speech should go.

Francis clarified his position during an inflight interview with reporters Jan.
19 when he said, “In theory, we all agree: There is freedom of expression,
a violent aggression is not good, it’s always bad. We all agree, but in
practice, let us stop a little because we are human and we risk provoking
others. For this reason freedom must be accompanied by prudence.”

cannot constantly insult, provoke a person continuously, because I risk making
him angry, and I risk receiving an unjust reaction, one that is not just. But that’s
human. For this reason I say that freedom of expression must take into account
the human reality and for this reason it must be prudent. It’s a way of saying
that one must be well-behaved, prudent. Prudence is the human virtue that
regulates our relationships. I can go so far, I cannot go further, and there,
beyond that, no,” he said.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article