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Pope Supports Parental Authority
February 6, 2015 permalink
Pope Francis believes it is fine for parents to smack their children as punishment for bad behavior. The pope is one of the few authority figures willing to incur the wrath of child protectors and stick up for families.
Pope Francis: parents can smack their children for bad behaviour
Pope Francis says it is acceptable for parents to smack their children to punish bad behaviour
Pope Francis believes it is fine for parents to smack their children as punishment for bad behaviour.
He made the remarks, which were condemned by campaigners for child protection, in front of thousands of people at his weekly general audience in St Peter’s Square during a homily about the responsibilities of fatherhood.
The Pope recalled a conversation he had had with a father, who told him that on occasion he hits his children if they have been naughty.
The Pope, smiling and miming the action of slapping a child on the bottom, said: “One time, I heard a father say, 'At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them.’
“That’s great. He had a sense of dignity. He should punish, do the right thing, and then move on,” he told around 7,000 people gathered in the Pope Paul VI Hall on Wednesday.
The endorsement of corporal punishment was condemned by campaign groups.
“It is disappointing that anyone with that sort of influence would make such a comment,” said Peter Newell, the coordinator of the Global Alliance to End Corporal Punishment of Children.
Peter Saunders, the founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, told The Telegraph: “I think that is a very misguided thing to have said and I’m surprised he said it, although he does come up with some howlers sometimes.”
Mr Saunders, who was abused by two Catholic priests as a child in London, was appointed by the Pope to a Vatican commission on protecting children from abusive priests and will take part in its first full meeting on Friday in Rome.
“It is a most unhelpful remark to have made and I will tell him that,” said Mr Saunders, who expects to meet the Pope this weekend.
But the remarks were defended by Father Antonio Mazzi, a priest well-known in Italy for his television appearances.
“This Pope is always astounding us because he uses the same language we use. Naturally there will be psychologists who protest, but they make me laugh,” he said.
Last month, during a visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, the Pope said that if someone insulted his mother, they could expect “a punch” in the face.
He made the comments in relation to the terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, suggesting that someone who insults another person’s religion should not be surprised by a violent reaction.
Meanwhile it was announced that the 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff will address the US Congress on Sept 24, becoming the first Pope ever to do so.
“That day His Holiness will be the first Pope in our history to address a joint session of Congress,” John Boehner, the House Speaker, said.
Source: Telegraph (UK)