The Vatican and Freedom of Speech
The Vatican on Saturday condemned the publication of cartoons lampooning Mohammad which have outraged the Muslim world, saying freedom of speech did not mean freedom to offend a person's religion.
"The freedom of thought and expression, confirmed in the Declaration of Human Rights, can not include the right to offend religious feelings of the faithful. That principle obviously applies to any religion," the Vatican said.
The Church has been working through its relation with the state for centuries now, perhaps its entire history - what is Caesar's and what is God's? Blasphemy has always been taught as wrong, for instance. You shouldn't do it. But how one reacts to another's blasphemy, or how one's government should react to another's blasphemy are separate questions. One could leave the punishing to God, or insist Caesar punish as well.
Unfortunately, various diplomats in the Vatican seem to not be properly making this distinction. Of course one should treat other religions with respect. But the Vatican seems to be going further and stating that one should use the government's power (which comes from the threat of violence) to ensure this. Are we seeing vestiges of "error has no rights"?