|Archbishop Fisichella holds up a large|
word-stone for reporters.
He was chatting with Aleteia about the powers of Mercy Priests, and said they could even absolve people from sins normally reserved to the holy see. After ticking off four or five of these heinous sins, he mentioned "physical violence on the Roman Pontiff." Well, sure. Physically attacking the Pope ought to be pretty serious.
But wait. Archbishop Fisichella said this. "I would say we need to understand 'physical violence' because sometimes words, too, are rocks and stones. and, therefore I believe some of these sins are far more widespread than we think."
Okay, now you may laugh.
Let me explain this just in case Archbishop Fisichella should somehow see it.
Words are immaterial for all intents and purposes. They are expressions of thoughts, opinions and mental events like that. They cannot physically hurt you. They are not rocks or stones. A good way to keep this straight is an old saying we have in English-speaking countries: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words may never hurt me."
Archbishop Fisichella is confused about what a metaphor is. A metaphor compares two things without using a connecting word such as "like." "Sometimes words, too, are rocks and stones." That's a metaphor. Just because you utter or write a metaphor doesn't make it really, literally true. A word will never be a rock or stone no matter how many times you chant it. It will just be a word.
Therefore, while you may metaphorically say ill-speaking against the Roman Pontiff is a stone or a rock thrown at him, it does not and never can constitute a physical attack on the Pope. It might make him sad, or angry, should he learn of it, but it won't knock him down, or give him a skull fracture or or severe lacerations on the face that require over 300 stiches.
The Bear apologizes to those of you with an IQ above 85, but he felt it was important to educate someone in such an important position on the difference between figures of speech and physical objects.