Today Pope Francis solidified the Vatican stance on corporal punishment – smack your children, just don’t hit them in the face. Oh yeah – make sure your kids maintain “dignity”. The topic of his weekly general audience was “the role of fathers in the family”. Apparently a good father forgives but is able to “correct with firmness” – a really good father does so without “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.”
Never mind the Vatican’s signature on a United Nations human rights agreement protecting the rights of a child – a treaty that explicitly requires signatories to “take all measures, including legislative and educational, to protect children from all forms of physical or mental violence – including while in the care of parents.”
Vatican guidelines on hitting children remind me of Islamic instruction on how to beat your wife. Under Sharia Law, beatings are a sign of love, not hatred. As with the Vatican, men are not to hit wives in the face – apparently religion frowns on blackening eyes of women and children. (Linked below – Sharia does, and wife beating don’t s.)
Pope Francis directed his comments at fathers – maybe Catholics know their place but I’m confused. Are mothers allowed to hit their kids, or is that role reserved for “father of the year”? How come men, regardless of fundamentalist faith get to beat women and children? What is it with these archaic imbeciles? Why do these men agree physical violence is warranted and justified, provided bruises are concealed and assailants convince themselves their victim maintained dignity?
I’ve had my fill of religious instruction on physical abuse. Pope Francis is delusional if he thinks the Vatican can play nice with the UN, then instruct “good fathers” to forgive children by hitting them with “dignity” anywhere but the face. Good fathers lead by example – praising a father for “forgiving” his child after a smacking, is pure unadulterated bat shit.