Catholic World News

Abuse commission members question Pope's statement on parents spanking children

February 09, 2015

Members of a special papal commission on the sexual abuse of children took issue with public comments by Pope Francis on spanking, during a press conference on February 7.

During his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, February 4, the Pope had said that there was no inherent problem with spanking, provided that parents did not harm the dignity of the children.

Krysten Winter-Green, a member of the papal commission, said that she hoped to have an opportunity to speak with the Pontiff on that subject, and perhaps change his mind. She said that any use of force, by someone in a position of power over a child, is wrong.


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  • Posted by: rik92vin8086 - Feb. 09, 2015 9:26 PM ET USA

    Equating spanking with abuse, sexual abuse or serious forms of emotional, psychological or physical abuse is ridiculous. There are real examples of abuse in this world and by referring to even legitimate acts like spanking as abuse tend to alienate otherwise sympathetic people. Perspective. Let's not broaden the term abuse to mean anything we direct a child to do against their will. There goes making them clean up the room. What. No spanking, but I can manipulate them into doing it. Much better.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 09, 2015 1:13 PM ET USA

    Well, I guess no more making my kids eat their peas. "Just do whatever you want, kids, and let us know how it turns out in 20 or 30 years!" You know, just as it says in Proverbs. Thanks, Krysten Winter-Green, for clearing up that misconception I had about parenting!