After just coming out against "nip & tuk" (elective cosmetic surgery) and referring to it as an "aggression" against women it's surprising to read that he seems soft on "aggression" against children.
Of course, he also didn't hold back when he claimed he would "punch" anyone who miss-spoke about his mother (I'm OK with that one) so my guess is Francis operates in the "grey" rather than the "black & white" reality many of us feel more comfortable in. What I like to call the "Bush Doctrine" (you're either with us or against us) world view.
Pope Francis on spanking | National Catholic Reporter
I'm going to safely assume that Francis was not endorsing this;
A warrant for the arrest of Adrian Peterson, one of the National Football League’s top stars, was issued Friday after he was charged in a child abuse investigation in Texas, the latest criminal case to rock the country’s most popular sport.
The charges against Peterson, a running back for the Minnesota Vikings regarded as one of the best in history, came after the police investigated claims that he had abused his son while disciplining him with a switch, or a small tree branch.
Peterson, through a lawyer, quickly sought to play down his behavior, saying he had engaged only in stern parenting.
“Adrian is a loving father who used his judgment as a parent to discipline his son,” his lawyer, Rusty Hardin, said, adding that Peterson, 29, had experienced such discipline as a child in East Texas. “Adrian has never hidden from what happened.”
Beating children in Texas is commonly referred to as "stern parenting." My response to all those "stern" parents is to say, "please, can I borrow your switch for a second? And then can you bend over, pull down those pants, and allow me to give you a sense of what "stern" parenting feels like".