I understand the Church’s teaching on torture. However, I think non-lethal corporal punishment would result in a good things for the Church (especially given the ongoing clergy scandals) and for society at large (a better alternative to the prison-industrial complex, which breeds hatred, fear, violence, and despair).
Obviously, anything that puts the individual being punished at risk of death or grave bodily harm is beyond the pale. But force is a universal currency, and the threat of pain and humiliation should be an effective deterrent. It worked for hundreds of years; only in recent decades have we taken the Benjamin Spock approach to criminal treatment, and it hasn’t worked.
The punishments I had in mind include, but are not limited to:
- Beatings with rubber hoses
- Time in the stocks, and having rotten food thrown at you
- A paddlin’