Pope’s Remarks About Spanking Children Stirs Up Resistance to His Views

Pope Francis’ comments about ‘spanking’ children have drawn condemnation from a group of child abuse experts that have been summoned by Pope Francis to look at issues of child abuse that have historically dogged the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis stated that it is fine for parents to spank their children as long as the child is not humiliated and he went onto state that:

“One time, I heard a father in a meeting with married couples say ‘I sometimes have to smack my children a bit, but never in the face so as to not humiliate them,”

“How beautiful. He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”

Two members of the 17 person strong commission which held its first full meeting at the Vatican took a different stance to Pope Francis and they objected to his comments. There was also an outpouring of condemnation on social media to the comments made by Pope Francis, both by secularists and from those of faith.

The controversial comments by Pope Francis come on the back of his recent comments about the Charlie Hebdo cartoons on Prophet Muhammad. The Pope stated that freedom of expression are fundamental human rights though he believed that there were limits to offending and ridiculing faiths. Pointing to his long time aide, Alberto Gasparri, who was standing beside him in the papal plane, he said:

“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch.”