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Former president criticises Pope for saying smacking children is acceptable

Pope Francis said this week that it’s okay for parents to smack their children.

Former President Mary McAleese
Former President Mary McAleese
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

IN A ‘LETTER to the Editor’ published in the Irish Independent newspaper today, the former President Mary McAleese has criticised comments made by Pope Francis about slapping children.

This week, Pope Francis said it’s okay for parents to smack their children, once their dignity is maintained.

Corporal punishment 

McAleese states that the Holy See is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children 1989, which advocates for the abolition of corporal punishment of children.

She questions whether the Holy See has decided to oppose the stated view of the committee – that corporal punishment should be banned.

The former president said that if the Holy See is now “internationally promoting” the corporal punishment of children then Pope Francis has “surely turned the clock back considerably”.

Poll: Is it ever okay to smack your children?>

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