A video of a priest slapping a crying baby being baptized has sparked outrage online – and rightly so.
In a 43-second YouTube video originally shared to Reddit, a toddler being held by what appears to be his mother begins crying as a French speaking priest attempts to baptize him.
In the disturbing video, the priest loses his patience with the child and holds his face close to him next to a baptismal font.
Warning: This video contains violent content that may be disturbing and upsetting to some viewers.
Things escalate when the child becomes increasingly distraught – prompting the priest to tell the crying toddler to “Calm down, calm down” repeatedly before slapping the child on the face.
The parents or god-parents of the child look to be in disbelief, unsure of what they had witnessed as the priest begins to pull the child close to him once again.
The woman holding the child begins to pull away from the priest, while a church official attempts to step in and stop the priest from going further.
Finally, the man believed to be the child’s father interjects, and removes the child from the situation before the video cuts out.
The outrageous video has gone viral, and has left viewers understandably upset.
“I don’t care if you’re a pastor, priest or one of Jesus 12 disciples,” one angry viewer tweeted. “If. You. Slap. My Child. Imma show you that these hands can do more than show you that I’m praying [sic].”
Another wrote, “This never okay! As a priest you are suppose to insure safety and peace but yet you slap my child! If this ever happens to my child best believe there’s gonna a lot more then just slapping happening to his face.”
Many users on Facebook were quick to point out the long-standing history of abuse associated with the Catholic Church.
“I wonder how many millions of kids suffer inappropriately aged ‘discipline’ like this behind the scenes in religious families who believe this is biblically sanctioned, though,” One woman wrote. “Or any family. This is prevalent around the world. Let’s make it all stop.”
No further details have been revealed about the family or whether or not the parents pressed charges for the priest’s actions, nor has any representative from the Catholic Church released a statement regarding the priests behaviour.