Catholic Bishops Support Positive Discipline

Catholic Bishops Support Positive Discipline

You may have heard that Pope Francis made remarks last week condoning spanking. The Pope’s sex abuse commission promptly issued public alarm, but there has been no correction from the Vatican. Please share the OPEN LETTER from The Alliance to End the Hitting of Children with your community. Please also feel empowered to use this letter and to write an Op-Ed with your local news sources.

If your story gets picked up in the news, let us know!

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Download a PDF version of the Open Letter to the Pope.

The Pope’s comment does not align with the Vatican’s adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child that calls for the end of all forms of corporal punishment of children. Many within the Catholic Church have made formal statements against corporal punishment.

The South African Parliament is considering legislation to ban spanking in the home as a way to decrease violence and promote the well-being of children. In response to this legislation, the  South African Catholic Bishop’s Parliamentary Liaison Office has formally made a positive statement in support of Positive Discipline.

Here at home in the US, Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Archdiocese of New Orleans has also come out against spanking children, and interestingly he himself was never spanked.  He recognizes that being raised without corporal punishment had a positive influence on his views of non-violence.

Archbishop Aymond considers research in forming his opinions, which supports the idea that religious beliefs can be supported by science.  

Here is an interview where Archbishop Aymond talks about the often quoted biblical verse that conservative Christians often refer to in supporting their belief that spanking is necessary, Proverbs 23:13

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For Catholics who are looking for support in positive parenting, please check out Catholic Attachment Parenting Corner.

Kim Cameron-Smith of CAPC explains, “Our ministry aims to provide information to Catholic parents who are interested in attachment-based parenting.”  In our interview, we talked about how spanking affects attachment, why spanking isn’t a personal parenting choice that shouldn’t be judged, and what the research has to say about spanking “lightly” and “infrequently.”

Read Interview…



Want a copy of the South African Catholic Bishop’s response to banning spanking?

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Article by Catholic Family Therapist, Dr. Gregory Popcak talks more about the Catholic Bishops support of Positive Discipline at:

“Thy Rod and Thy Staff They Comfort Me, is a wonderful online book by Samuel Martin addressing the biblical argument on spanking – an interpretation of non-violence.

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