Pope Francis has warned that he was ready to punch anyone who insulted his mother.

The pontiff said this yesterday in remarks made en route to the Philippines from Sri Lanka, that “there are limits to freedom of expression and my mother was the limit.

“We have a duty to speak openly, to have thiss freedom, but without offending others.

“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,” he added.

The Pope said in relation to recent events in Paris that violence in the name of religion can never be justified, but that there are limits to freedom of expression.

“Many people badmouth religion, mock it, play with other people’s religion.

“It can happen, but there are limits. Every religion has dignity, every religion that respects life and human beings has dignity, and you cannot mock it,” he added.

The Pope warned, “You cannot provoke, insult, ridicule other people’s faith”.