Should smacking be part of child rearing?
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has voiced opposition to a draft law under which parents would be banned from using corporal punishment methods with their children. Certain forms of verbal and physical violence were helpful in child rearing and should not be criminalised, the Church wrote in an official statement on Friday. The press objects.
No right to use violence against children
Writing on the Club Z website columnist Maria Peeva is outraged by the Church's stance:
“In recent days I've read lots of articles on all kinds of websites about how important it is that we retain the right to hit our children. ... They said that the Orthodox Church was against the ban because - get this! - the right of parents to hit their children is an ancient patriarchal basic value. ... So Bulgarian children are the worst children in the world. They won't become good individuals unless they are beaten. ... I can't understand this. Why are we no good unless we are beaten, mistreated and oppressed? And how do all these Bulgarian children who move abroad with their families suddenly become good people - without beatings?”
No one needs to be lectured to by the Church
The Bulgarian Church seems to have adopted the slogans of the nationalists in the parliament, the Bulgarian service of German broadcaster Deutsche Welle criticises:
“The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is behaving as if it were the fourth coalition partner in the 'Patriots' [the alliance of parties participating in government]. It gets upset about refugees, rails against the Istanbul Convention, demands compulsory religion classes at schools and rants bout Bulgaria's demographic problems, which must be solved 'while protecting the traditional values and foundations of the Bulgarian family'. ... The Orthodox Church should focus less on giving canonical advice to society and more on its real tasks. But the Holy Synod prefers to lecture the state about children being brought up in the way the Church wants them to be.”