A video of a priest slapping a baby in the face because he wouldn’t stop crying during a baptism ceremony is now sparking widespread outrage.
In one translation of the conversation cited by Kidspot, the elderly priest is heard telling the crying baby in French: “It’s a tantrum, this is called a tantrum. I will spill water on the forehead, hmm? And then, I’ll kiss the lil’ kid, because he’ll have become a little Christian. Ohlalalala! (Expressing discontentment and kindness, basically a soft “come on!” directed at the kid). I will scream louder than you. So calm down. Calm down.”
The priest was holding the baby’s face while attempting to calm him down as a man and a woman who appear to be the child’s parents looked on, unbothered at this point. At about the 23-second mark in the video the priest applies a sharp slap to the left side of the child’s face and he begins wailing even harder as the man and the woman quickly try to wrest the baby from him.
The priest is told: “Sir, we don’t hit him.”
While another woman can be heard saying: “Isn’t this forbidden?”
The determined priest kept holding onto the baby’s face, saying: “Now you calm down. There. You will calm down. You will calm down. You will calm down. There.” The man who appears to be the child’s father is eventually able to wrestle the child away from the priest.
Many people who watched the now viral video have condemned the incident online charging that they would not have been able to remain as composed as the other adults in the video when the priest slapped the child.
Father Jacques Lacroix has been removed from all church activities, according to a statement released by Meaux Dioceses in France on Friday, June 22.
“Since June 21, a video circulates in the press and social networks on which we can see a priest (89 years), celebrate the baptism of a child in Seine-et-Marne,” the statement reads. “This short video is an excerpt from the celebration which the baby cries a lot. The elderly priest loses his temper and slaps the child. Aware of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism.”
The statement continues: “On Friday, June 22, Bishop Nahmias, Bishop of Meaux, took provisional measures to ensure that the priest was suspended from all baptism and marriage celebrations. These measures also require him not to intervene on the Collegiate Church of Champeaux now and to celebrate masses only at the express request of the parish priest.”
The statement points out that the priest was likely tired, but this “does not excuse him.”
Additional reporting by Christian Post/US Magazine (dot) com.