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by dpa (TNS)

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis says he is ready to “punch” anyone who insults his mother, illustrating that there are limits to freedom of expression.

“We have a duty to speak openly. To have this freedom, but without offending. It’s true that you cannot react with violence, but if (my aide) Doctor Gasbarri, who is a friend, badmouths my mother, a punch would be coming for him,” Francis says.

“I would say that there are limits to freedom of expression, and my mother is the limit,” the pontiff says in remarks made en route to the Philippines from Sri Lanka, published by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

AFP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli

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