Pope Francis told parents that it is OK to chastise
their children — as long as they maintain their dignity.
Francis made the remarks this week, during his weekly general audience, which was devoted to the role of the father in the family. Francis pointed to the characteristics of a good father: Someone who forgives, but is able to “correct with firmness”, without discouraging the child.
The Pope told this anecdote: “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,” added Francis added. “He knows dignity! He has to punish, but he does it right and then he goes on. ”
Father Thomas Rosica, working with the press office of the Vatican said the pope, of course, was not sanctioning violence or brutality against children, but discipline does “help someone grow and develop.”
“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.”
Opinion of Pope Franzikus published today in: http://www.zeit.de/gesellschaft/familie/2015-02/papst-kinder-schlagen