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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Spousal Corporal Punishment?

downloadQuestion

Does the Church believe in husbands disciplining their wives? In other words, are they permitted to exact corporal punishment as a domestic discipline?

Response

Spouses are adults and should treat each other with an abiding respect. Corporal punishment is not an element of the husband’s marital headship. They are partners in life and in the pursuit of holiness. There is an equality of grace that must be respected. Past practices in various cultures (even Christian ones) did not always respect the woman’s rights and gifts. Spouses should dialogue and, if need be, correct each other. But while an argument can be made for a gentle spanking of a child, such is inappropriate toward an adult spouse. There is mutuality between the head and the heart of the home. The husband should have a protective and nurturing love for his wife. Similarly, the wife as spouse and mother constitutes in her person the very source of the home they share. They belong to each other.

The question here is really about the wrong of spousal abuse.  It is seriously wrong and criminal.

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