Catholic FAQ


Latest Threads
newest posts



Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Ask an Apologist
 

Welcome to Catholic Answers Forums, the largest Catholic Community on the Web.

Here you can join over 400,000 members from around the world discussing all things Catholic. Membership is open to all, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who seek the Truth with Charity.

To gain full access, you must register for a FREE account. Registered members are able to:
  • Submit questions about the faith to experts from Catholic Answers
  • Participate in all forum discussions
  • Communicate privately with Catholics from around the world
  • Plus join a prayer group, read with the Book Club, and much more.
Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free. So join our community today!

Have a question about registration or your account log-in? Just contact our Support Hotline.

 
 
Thread Tools Search Thread Display
  #1  
Old Mar 9, '05, 7:21 am
springbreeze springbreeze is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: January 10, 2005
Posts: 1,881
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default Does the Church condone spanking?

There is a thread in the Family Life forum regarding smacking children. I would like to know what the Church position is on smacking children as a form of discipline. My priest has told me not to smack my child, that it is a sin. I agree with my priest. I agree out of an almost gut reaction; it seems perfectly right to my conscience.

I am wondering, as so many people have expressed that it is acceptable to hit children and so many have expressed that it is not right to hit children, what the Church actually says on this. I would hate to do anything against Church teaching and am genuinely concerned to raise my child properly within Church teaching. People have quoted the verse "spare the rod and spoil the child." Would you mind discerning this for me and telling me the meaning of this as regards children and what the "rod" is?

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Mar 9, '05 at 9:43 am.
  #2  
Old Mar 9, '05, 10:20 am
Michelle Arnold's Avatar
Michelle Arnold Michelle Arnold is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
 
Join Date: May 3, 2004
Posts: 4,941
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Does the Church condone spanking?

First of all, "Spare the rod and spoil the child" is a common misquotation of the Bible. Just as many think the Bible says "Money is the root of all evil" -- it doesn't; it is the love of money to which Paul refers in 1 Timothy 6:10 -- so the common formulation on spanking is a misquote of Proverbs 13:24:

Quote:
He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
There have been alternative interpretations given to verses such as this one from Proverbs; for example, likening the rod to the shepherd's staff in Psalms 23:4 -- which is used to guide sheep, not to hit them -- but, to my knowledge, the Church has not offered an official interpretation of the verses that speak of using a rod to discipline children. Short of such an official interpretation, there is a range of permitted opinion in interpretation that would include both non-corporal guidance and physical punishment.

The Church does not have an official stance on corporal punishment, leaving it to the prudential judgment of parents based on known Christian principles. Certainly, it would go against Christian principles to inflict harm on a child, so a parent must educate himself to find out if spanking causes harm. Modern advances in child psychology can be of help in determining what, if any, harm spanking may cause. As psychology is a natural science based upon God's natural revelation through his creation, Christian parents should be careful not to set up a false dichotomy between science and religion.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this on family discipline, emphasizing the necessity of discipline but not dictating the form it must take:

Quote:
Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. They bear witness to this responsibility first by creating a home where tenderness, forgiveness, respect, fidelity, and disinterested service are the rule. The home is well suited for education in the virtues. This requires an apprenticeship in self-denial, sound judgment, and self-mastery -- the preconditions of all true freedom. Parents should teach their children to subordinate the "material and instinctual dimensions to interior and spiritual ones." Parents have a grave responsibility to give good example to their children. By knowing how to acknowledge their own failings to their children, parents will be better able to guide and correct them:

He who loves his son will not spare the rod. ... He who disciplines his son will profit by him.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (CCC 2223).
In any event, after careful study of the issues and in the absence of a ruling by the Church, the decision for or against non-harmful corporal punishment is the parent's. A parent is free to decide to refrain from corporal punishment, using instead other non-physical disciplinary measures; or he may choose to use corporal punishment so long as he is not causing physical or emotional damage to his children. Given that a parent does have freedom in this matter, assuming that his chosen discipline is not harming his child and assuming that you correctly understood your priest's advice, your priest should not have told you that corporal punishment is sinful in and of itself. It can be an occasion of sin for a person unable to control himself, but the Church has not said that parents must refrain from corporal punishment.

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Nov 28, '05 at 4:42 pm.
 

Go Back   Catholic Answers Forums > Forums > Ask an Apologist

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search Thread
Search Thread:

Advanced Search
Display

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



Prayer Intentions

Most Active Groups
8457Meet and talk,talk talk
Last by: suko
5143CAF Prayer Warriors Support Group
Last by: UpUpAndAway
4424Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother
Last by: DesertSister62
4037OCD/Scrupulosity Group
Last by: eschator83
3863SOLITUDE
Last by: beth40n2
3735Let's empty Purgatory
Last by: RJB
3320Petitions Before the Blessed Sacrament
Last by: Amiciel
3284Poems and Reflections
Last by: PathWalker
3224Catholic Vegetarians & Vegans
Last by: 4elise
3109For seniors and shut- ins
Last by: RevDrJBTDDPhD



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 9:08 am.

Home RSS Feeds - Home - Archive - Top

Copyright © 2004-2014, Catholic Answers.