Pope Francis will undoubtedly go down in history as the pontiff who mistakenly spouted an expletive in front of a crowd of many onlookers during his address to the people concerning the terrible situation currently taking place in the Ukraine. He misspoke one syllable, proving that Pope Francis is human after all.
There have been many situations throughout history that have caused even the most articulate of individuals to have an open-mouth-insert-foot-moment. Of course, the ones who seem to have the most difficulty living them down are the well-known public figures. Here is a list of famous slips of the tongue, most notably known as “Freudian slips.”
Ronald Reagan: “I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.”
This was accidentally heard on the air at a radio station…it was supposed to be a microphone test.
Al Gore was addressing a group of people who were concerned over communism- Gore reminded them that each communistic government being addressed had fallen over the course of 100 days. Completely out of context, Gore said next: “Now it’s our turn, here in the United States of America.”
The unforgettable statement made by Mr. Watergate, Richard Nixon himself went as follows: “I am not a crook.” Then, Nixon went on to say: “You don’t know how to lie; if you can’t lie, you’ll never go anywhere.”
Does anyone remember Dan Quayle, vice president from the years 1989-1993? Quayle was famous for correcting a spelling bee student, one Daniel Figueroa, for “misspelling” the word, potato. According to Dan Quayle, the proper spelling was “potatoe.”
Of course, there is George W. Bush, who was famed for his ability to murder his own train of thought with misspoken words. These haphazard phrasings are now and always will be known as “bushisms”. In a public address on the war in Iraq, Bush explained something in terms only Bush was capable of.
George W. Bush: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful; so are we. They never stop thinking about ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”
If taken seriously, many of the misspoken words above could have exasperated and offended many for various, and possibly truly justified reasons; however, sometimes life has a way of proving that each person, no matter their station in life, is refreshingly human.
Pope Francis’ intent in the message he was trying to convey, as opposed to the message he did convey, was a message of peace and good will. His intention was a call to action for peace in the turbulent Ukraine. His motive was to address, with compassion, the unfortunate events taking place.
Regardless of one’s religious affiliation, merit can be gleaned of a message meant for peace. Everyone makes mistakes. No doubt, the situation has created quite a shock wave; however, is it more important that the Pope’s slip of the tongue resulted in a blazing expletive, saying the F-word, or is it the fact that he was attempting to bring the world’s attention to the agonizing circumstances surrounding the Ukraine? Pope Francis is only human, after all.
By: J.A. Johnson