Pope Francis Arrives in the Philippines

Speaks to reporters aboard the papal plane.

After a flight of nearly six hours, Pope Francis arrived at Villamor Air Base in Manila at 5.35pm local time today, where he was welcomed by the country's President, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. After the national anthems and presentation of their respective delegations, the Pope was driven to the apostolic nunciature.

Francis gave no discourses today, but he did speak to reporters on the papal plane, during which he referred to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. "You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith," the Pope said. If you do, he said, you "can expect a punch." 

"Every religion has dignity, every religion that respects human life and the human person and I cannot make fun of it. And this is a limit," he added. 

About freedom of religion, he said "You cannot hide the truth. Everyone has the right to practice their religion, their own religion without offending, freely. And that's what we do, what we all want to do."

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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