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A French priest has been suspended from “all baptism and marriage celebrations” after a viral video showed him slapping a baby on the face during a baptism ceremony, the diocese said.
Father Jacque Lacroix, 89, a priest who belonged to the Meaux Diocese, became a viral sensation after a YouTube video showed him giving a baby a slap on the cheek. The video, which has been viewed more than 5 million times, sparked backlash from viewers.
The diocese released a statement on Friday regarding the viral video, saying that Lacroix has been suspended.
“This short video is an excerpt from the celebration during 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 read.
The article goes on to state the following:
Lacroix spoke to France Info radio about the video, referring to the hit as “something between a caress and a little slap,” AFP reported.
“The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water. I was saying ‘be quiet’ but he wouldn’t calm down,” Lacroix said. “It was something between a caress and a little slap. I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.”
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