Pope Francis Releases 'How to Smack Your Child with Dignity' Guide

New help to parents includes fun illustrations of children "not being traumatized."

Pope Francis Malacanang 18
photo credit: via Wikimedia Commons

FTER HAVING discussed punishing children "with dignity" last week, Pope Francis has just released a corporal punishment guide to Catholic parents, according to the Vatican press office.

The papal manual entitled, How to Smack Your Child with Dignity, offers Catholic parents "as well as other parents not of the faith who want to smack their children in a dignified manner," more than twenty ways to "give children what-for in a loving, caring way."

Francis's guide, according to the inside jacket sleeve, also comes "beautifully illustrated with a wide array of smacking scenarios filled with love and applied with dignity to children who are shown clearly not being traumatized."

A sampling of the dignified smacking a parent can engage in, according to the Pope, includes:

- smacking of the bottom, but with at least two layers of clothing on the child, one layer preferably being high-quality corduroy to allow for extra padding,

- two-handed smacking, but only if at least three seconds have passed between hands one and two, and

- smacking the top of the child's head, but only when the child is wearing a hat, which will likely fly off in a comical manner due to the smacking and therefore add levity to the situation, thereby allowing the child to laugh at the whole thing later in life.

Because the pope's instructional manual limits itself to the use of only one form of parental discipline, some Francis fans are wondering whether the new publication will be just the first of a series of papal musings on punishing children with dignity.

No one at the Vatican would go on record regarding sequel speculations, however a few undisclosed sources admitted that the Vatican City rumor mill was abuzz with possible future titles.

One anonymous source did confirm hearing that How to Bodily Drag Your Screaming Child to an Open Casket to Kiss Grandma with Dignity was already in the works, and that How to Instill the Fear of Going Straight to Hell in Your Child with Dignity "could not be far behind."