A child’s baptism is a sacred and solemn event because it formally marks the child’s entry into Christianity.
People who practice Catholicism typically have their children baptized as babies and it’s supposed to be a joyful occasion for everyone.
However, this French couple got the shock of their lives when their child’s baptism took a bizarre turn that saw the child’s father get into a wrestling match with the priest for possession of the baby. A video has surfaced showing a Catholic priest in France slapping a baby after the child wouldn’t stop crying during the ceremony.
The video opens with the priest saying that he will put water on the baby’s forehead and then embrace him because he would have become a little Christian by then. But as soon as the priest touches his finger to the child’s forehead the baby starts crying.
Increasingly irritated by the baby’s loud wailing, the priest grips the baby’s head in both hands and touches his head to the baby’s and says, “Stop crying, calm down, you must calm down.”
At this point, the parents sense nothing wrong and the father even briefly faces the camera with a small smile.
The priest forcibly turns the child’s face towards him, looks him the eye, and repeats his command to calm down. Then he slaps the child with his left hand.
The parents stand in shock for a second as the watching crowd erupts in murmurs.
“Don’t hit the kid!” someone can be heard shouting.
A lady steps in from off camera and lays a hand on the priest’s arm but he’s carrying on as if nothing had happened and even proceeds to hug the child’s head to his chest again.
It’s not clear if the mother was already trying to pull the baby away but she wouldn’t have been able to do so without harming her child because the priest was keeping a tight grip.
Finally, the father sees his chance and steps in to pry the baby away but the priest didn’t want to let go. However, after some careful pulling, the dad finally manages to snatch his kid away even as the priest kept trying to grab the child again.
As expected, social media reaction has been undeniably caustic, with some calling the priest a “pedophile” and a “pervert.” Some even said that if they had been there they would have punched the priest unconscious.
This incident couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Catholic Church as it has faced controversy after controversy around the world. A lot of Catholics have become increasingly disillusioned with the Church and this incident will only fuel that fire unless the Vatican takes quick action.