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French priest suspended after beating a baby during baptism



A French Catholic priest was suspended on Friday after a video in which he beat a crying baby during a christening ceremony became viral and caused widespread condemnation on social media.

In footage posted on Twitter on Thursday, gasps are heard as the 89-year-old priest, after telling the child to "be quiet," hits his cheek sharply. A few seconds later he hits him again.

The baby's parents, visibly shocked, finally manage to have the child during the ceremony in Champeaux about 50 kilometers southeast of Paris, to free the priest's grip.

"This loss of self-restraint can be attributed to the fatigue of an older priest, but that does not excuse him," said the diocese of Meaux, which includes the city, in a statement.

It was said that the priest would no longer run baptisms and weddings and would not hold masses until further notice.

"The child was shouting and I had to turn my head so I could pour the water in. I said be quiet", but he would not calm down, "the priest told Radio France Info on Friday ,

"There was something between a caress and a small slap," he said. "I tried to calm him down, I did not really know what to do."


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