Pope Francis stated during his weekly general audience that it’s ok to spank your children, as long as their dignity is maintained. The Pope’s remarks were made in his speech devoted to the roles of fathers in the family.
He said a good father is one who forgives but “correct with firmness” while not discouraging the child.
“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,'” Francis said.
“How beautiful!” Francis remarked. “He knows the sense of dignity! He has to punish them but does it justly and moves on.”
An associate of the Vatican press office, Rev. Thomas Rosica clarified the Pope’s remarks, saying that the Pope was not referring to violence and cruelty but “rather helping someone to grow and mature.”
“Who has not disciplined their child or been disciplined by parents when we are growing up?” Rosica said in an email. “Simply watch Pope Francis when he is with children and let the images and gestures speak for themselves! To infer or distort anything else … reveals a greater problem for those who don’t seem to understand a pope who has ushered in a revolution of normalcy of simple speech and plain gesture.”