Religious authority figure
Such persons are traditionally granted with high authority. Countless stories abound regarding spankings given by those in the "church", church school, or monastary, regardless of denomination. Accounts of priests, nuns, monks and ministers/vicors who have swung the paddle, snapped the slipper, or taken a miscreant over their knee have been written about and discussed, for example in the 1845 German book Der Pfaffenspiegel. It is not surprising that these experiences then make their way in written spanking fiction or spanking art, cutting across the various pairings.
Regardless of any subliminal "undertones", these accounts and writings are specifically about the act of spanking. Sometimes in writing these accounts, the inference is that those who spank may hide their spanking fetish behind the pretense of church or positional "duty".