WATCH ABOVE: Pope Francis says Catholics don’t have to ‘breed like rabbits’
On his way back from a popular tour through Asia, Pope Francis held a brief press conference aboard the papal plane where he sounded off on freedom of speech, birth control and corruption.
On Charlie Hebdo
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Pope Francis began speaking to reporters by clarifying comments he made last week on the terror attacks against French magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The Pope said he wasn’t justifying violence when he said if a friend insulted his mother he could “expect a punch” in return.
READ MORE: Charlie Hebdo editor says ‘religion should not be a political argument’
Pope Francis said violence contradicts the teachings of Jesus “to turn the other cheek,” but in practice people must be prudent enough not to provoke others.
“In theory we can say that we have the freedom to express ourselves and that is important. We all agree in theory,” he said. ” I cannot insult and provoke a person continuously because I risk making them angry. … For this reason I say freedom of expression must take into consideration human reality and therefore, I say, it must be prudent.”
On birth control
Francis stopped short of endorsing the use of contraceptives such as condoms but said couples shouldn’t procreate “like rabbits.”
“But God gives you methods to be responsible,” he said. “Some think that, excuse me if I use that word, that in order to be good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No. We need responsible paternity, that is clear.”
A kick where the sun doesn’t shine
Francis also told a story from his time as a bishop in Argentina when a couple of suspicious men offered $400,000 to help his impoverished neighbourhood, but only if he first hand over a large initial deposit.
“In that moment I thought, ‘What should I do?’ I could insult them and give them a kick where the sun doesn’t shine or I play the fool,” he said.
Francis said he played the fool and told men that his office didn’t have a bank account and they would have to check with the church’s financial experts.
READ MORE: Record 6 million attend Manila Mass as Pope Francis ends Asia trip with appeal
The pope said he wondered if he let the fraudsters off easy and allowing them to continue taking advantage of others.
Following the press conference the Pope said he hopes to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay in 2015, as well as Uganda and the Central Africa Republic.
Pope Francis is also scheduled to visit the United States in September for a three-city visit.
*With files from the Associated Press