Pope Francis: Freedom of conscience in danger in ‘Christian countries’

Pope Francis addresses reporters aboard the plane bringing him back following a two-day trip to Morocco (Getty)

‘Let’s not accuse Muslims. Let’s accuse also ourselves,’ Pontiff tells French reporter

Pope Francis decried the regression of freedom of conscience in “Christian countries” during an in-flight press conference Sunday, telling reporters on his return trip from Morocco, “let’s not accuse Muslims”.

When asked by a French reporter about a criminal law in Morocco that prohibits enticing a Muslim to convert to another religion, Francis responded, “Let’s not accuse Muslims. Let’s accuse also ourselves.”

“Today, we Christians have the danger that some governments will take away our freedom of conscience, which is the first step toward freedom of worship,” Pope Francis said March 31.

“Think of the Christian doctors and hospital institutions that do not have the right of conscientious objection, for example, for euthanasia. How? The Church has moved on and you Christian countries go backwards?” he told the French reporter.

The pope explained that religious freedom has developed over time in Muslim world and in the history of the Catholic Church.

“Freedom always develops, it grows. Think of us Christians 300 years ago, if there was this freedom that we have today. Faith grows in awareness, in the ability to understand itself,” Francis said.

“For example, today we have removed the death penalty from the Catechesim of the Catholic Church. Three hundred years ago, heretics were burned alive,” he said.

“The Church has grown in moral conscience, respect for the person, and the freedom of worship,” Francis explained. “We too must continue to grow.”

“There are people, Catholics, who do not accept what the Second Vatican Council said about freedom of worship, freedom of conscience,” Pope Francis said. “We have this problem.”

Francis said that Muslims are progressing in the freedom of conscience and freedom of worship, however some countries “do not understand well or do not grow as well as others.”

“In Morocco, there is this growth,” he emphasized. “I can say that in Morocco there is freedom of worship, there is religious freedom.”

During his two-day trip to Morocco, Pope Francis signed the “Jerusalem declaration” with the King of Morocco Mohammed VI on March 30. The joint statement called for Jerusalem to remain “multi-religious” and a “city of peace.”

Pope Francis also spoke about religious freedom and freedom of conscience in his address to the Moroccan people in their capital, Rabat.

“Freedom of conscience and religious freedom – which is not limited to freedom of worship alone, but allows all to live in accordance with their religious convictions – are inseparably linked to human dignity,” Pope Francis salid.

According to the U.S. State Department, Morocco is more than 99 percent Sunni Muslim. Islam is the religion of the state, and their criminal code prohibits undermining Islam or proselytizing.


So, the Pope praises conscience?

Does that apply in Rome as well as Morocco?

On the headstone of The Oratory Society in Larne, there is a quote from Cardinal Newman

“Conscience is the aboriginal vicar of Christ”.

There was no conscience in confessional Catholic Ireland from 1922 to the 1970s.

The bishops and priests laid down the law on

Sex before marriage



Marrying a “Protestant”

Attendance at Trinity College Dublin

Health care

Child care


etc, etc

Francis & Co have come late to conscience

But we the people got there before them.

And our consciences are telling that they are a rotten lot and to have nothing to do with them.


So Pat is now the great warrior of conscience. Time changes everything and our teachings, knowledge, insights and understanding of life evolve. If Pope Francis proclaims the primacy of conscience, why the mockery? Your “Pat says” soundbytes are so inane and shallow as to be crap. We know where conscience got you – convicted before a court of law for the crime of sham marriages!! Why are all Catholic clerics belittled by you in your cryptic, albeit silly, empty remarks?


Pat I often wonder if you have a conscience, you never present yourself as loving and one who cares for other’s but one that kicks with hurt that will deal the most pain!
My prayer tonight is for God’s forgiveness and healing to you and that love of your enemies will someday bring you peace and not hatred.
Please find a softened heart!


Yes, the verbal votives of the self-righteous are always heard in the hhighest reaches of Heaven😆


Your conscience tells you to have nothing to do with them???? You can’t fucking stay away from them for two minutes! Your whole pathetic little life revolves entirely around them, you stupid prick! 😂😂
You might have fooled yourself but you can’t fool a hardbitten aul boyo like me.
Your whole delusional life is totally centred on the RCC. “The lady doth protest too much” is an understatement. You and all the other wankers. 😆😆


Oddly enough (given his excoriation of dissenting factions within early Christianity), Paul, in Romans, acknowledges the absolute primacy of conscience, since he acknowledges, too, the immediacy and primal character of divine law written on every human heart.
This was odd since, elsewhere, Paul’s behaviour appeared to contradict what he confessed in longest of his missives. Perhaps he had a bad memory.
One cannot say this for institutional Roman Catholicism, since it has possessed, for many centuries, the Canon of Sacred Scripture. But it might as well not have bothered, in certain regards, since it has NEVER respected the primacy of personal conscience. Indeed, it has persecuted those who did, even to the point of murderous and barbarous death.
Institutional Roman Catholicism is nothing if not an object lesson on how NOT to be a Christian.😆


12.45: You Magna, unknownst to yourself, personify the opposite of true Christian conscience. Your words are mostly hate filled and elicit hatred, aggression and poison against everyone, particularly priests. Join Pat, your poodle, and look at your conscience. Maybe you might just discover truth, integrity and honour. And stop quoting Wikipedia…..please.


Show me where I quoted from Wiki?

Go on: prove you just aren’t typing jealous nonsense, like others who post here against me.

I dare you.😆


It’s rather pathetic to read MC rushing to defend Buckley on this blog today. It speaks volumes about how Buckley depends on vicious trolls to stick up for him. As I say, pathetic.


I have had no non blog communications with MC and I do NOT have a y idea who he is.

I never ask anyone to defend me here.


Hi up🎶 For some daft reason a song comes to mind. Coward of the County by Kenny Rogers and the line Sometimes you’ve got to fight to be a man(or Woman) Conscience is amazing Have we got the courage to use it properly but


You are another of Pat’s poodles you imbecile fly on the wall. You are aptly named flying around and shitting on everything.


Please Pat….please do not publish any comment that calls another poster imbecile.
Some words should be a NO NO.


Just in relation your ending sentence I wondered about your use of ‘rotten lot’. This probably will seem very obvious to anyone regularly reading your blog but couldn’t help wonder about the idea of the righteous few among in the midst of the ‘rotten lot’. Are there none?


Isn’t it remarkable how some naysayers on this blog criticise +Pat when he speaks the truth. I have been on this blog for a long time and it never ceases to amaze me how many posters are averse to the truth being spoken. If the Church of Rome was so intrinsically linked to Christ I could understand them. However it is not. It is a church of man and not of Christ. Forgive me for not knowing the bible from start to finish but I know what I see and have experienced. Did the Christian brothers, priests and nuns have a conscience when they were beating seven bells out of us? Did Noel Treanor have a conscience when he was spending millions of the faithful s money on his luxury pad? Do some of his priests have a conscience when they are lording it over parishioners? Francis is right about conscience but a bit too late. By your fruits are you known. Well that being the case I know that a hell of a lot of that cabal have NO conscience


You are clearly a Protestant anti Catholic loon. Just look at the language you use. Only Protestants say “Church of Rome”. It contact something when the likes of you seed in here defending Pat Buckley.


You’re one of those averse to the truth, aren’t you 4:19?
I can telllllll.😆


12.00: You cannot make so disingenuous and wide sweeping judgment like that about all clerics. It is a blatant lie. You are justifiably angry, as am I, but it is unjust, unfair and unacceptable. I have encountered many goid priests and religious who have A CONSCIENCE..


Anon@12:31, I too have met many good clerics. But surely “goodness ” in terms of altruism, kindness, generosity of spirit is expected as par for the course and a prerequisite of religious leaders. So it is all the more remarkable to find revelations of the dark underbelly of religious leaders exposed in such a widespread and longstanding manner . Anon@ 12.00 referred to a “helluva lot of that cabal” so perhaps like myself met up with a helluva lot of clerics whose behaviour was the complete antithesis of what should be expected.


2.00: MMM, do you always live in a perfect way? Do you live in a truly altruistic way, with a life of compassion, care, mercy and deep, good humanity, all in such a way that you make a significant contribution to society? I work in a large institutional setup and not all individuals act out of a ” good humanity” – in fact some of them are shitheads and obnoxiously selfish boors. Yes, of course any one working in the name of Christ should live to the highest ideals, but so should all of us, irrespective of our profession.



How many of these clerics and religious with ‘A CONSCIENCE’ have placed their heads on the block to expose ecclesial corruption? How many have publicly protested the abuses within the so-called ‘hierarchy’, including the massive expenditure by Noel Treanor (of donations from the poor) on refurbishing/rennovating his modest little home?

Let me answer for you: NOT ONE.

The clerics and religious you refer to do indeed have ‘A CONSCIENCE’; it’s just that they are too self-serving, too cowardly, to exercise it.😆


It’s a miracle that Pat is still prowling about. By now another person would be dead with the weight of vengeance and hatred carried in their heart! But as is said: it’s hard to kill a bad thing!! So true in the case of Pat and, not his wee poodle, but his Big Teddy Bear, Magna! oh, the thought of it….


12. 28: I know you sufficiently to make a judgment in the manner you make judgments of others. Criticism is a two way street Pat! You get back what you give out….


Pat, you always use that excuse when you are criticised – “you really don’t know me”.
We know enough of your fruits and, by them, we do know something quite significant about you. And it’s not good at all.
You are a man, in the latter years of his life, whose soul is eaten away with bitterness. You don’t know what to be at and you cannot find words bad enough to give expression to the toxicity generated within yourself.
What do you do with yourself all day? The odd wee visit here and there – which, of course, you will exaggerate and in which you will attempt to paint yourself as the be all and end all.
You have nothing to do all day except update your blog, giving free reign to malicious trolls (who also have precious little to do with themselves all day), to spew their abuse and insults, under various guises.
Now, granted, you were badly treated by that other nasty/toxic little man – aul Cackle Daly – a pompous and conceited little fuss pot.
But so were others I know and they haven’t turned out like you. You see, there is one very strong trait you share with Cackle – narcissism. Both of you are textbook narcissists.
So, Pat, we know enough about you to stay well clear of you. That’s why 99.9% of contributors choose anonymity when writing on your blog – including your fan club – the Cartas – who once famously (and to hoots of laughter) said that they can only approach you on their knees!!


Yes, Magna respects holiness where he finds it.
Maybe one day he’ll do the same for you.
So keep trying. 😀


You are one hour ahead of us with your comment. Are you a continental poodle of Pat’s by any chance?


So is there any chance, Rev Buckley, that you actually WILL have “nothing to do with them” and give yourself and the world a break from all your usual boring and predictable old shit? Yeah. Thought not. You’re fixated on them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s