The French priest, caught on video while slapping a visibly frightened child during baptism, was identified and suspended from all baptisms and wedding celebrations.
A Friday Declaration by the French diocese of Meaux, Father Jacques Lacroix, 89, was removed from all activities around the church after the video became viral and caused anger and indignation to millions of people who saw it ,
"Since June 21, a video circulated in the press and social networks on which we can see a priest (89 years), celebrating the baptism of a child in Seine-et-Marne," the statement said. "This short video is an excerpt from the celebration where the baby cries a lot, the older priest loses control and slaps the child, conscious of this inappropriate gesture, the priest apologized to the family at the end of the baptism."
The Diocese wrote Lacroix was probably tired when the little boy started crying, even though they added that the elder's behavior did not excuse him. "
" On Friday, June 22, Bishop Nahmias, Bishop of Meaux, took interim measures to ensure that the priest was suspended from all baptism and wedding celebrations, "it said." These measures also require that he does not interfere with the Collegiate Church of Champeaux and celebrates masses only at the express wish of the pastor. "
" Let us entrust to the Lord the family of the baptized and our brother Jacques Lacroix, "he concluded.
Lacroix addressed the incident on Radio France Info Friday called the incident "something between a caress and a small slap "according to the AFP
" The kid screamed and I had to turn my head so I could pour the water. I said, be quiet, but he would not calm down, "said Lacroix," it was something between a caress and a small slap. I tried to reassure him, I did not really know what to do.
Lacroix recordings have been shared on YouTube, Twitter and Reddit, where they have been viewed around the world
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The 43-second video shows Lacroix holding the child's tear-filled face while the boy sits in a woman's arms, trying to console the child and in the middle the video is shown him beating the child over the cheek.
A man and a woman who appear to be the boy's parents are shown with frightened expressions immediately started screaming .The priest is shown how he draws the child closer than a woman, who appears to be a church official, approaches him briefly.
The baby seems to be struggling in Lacroix's arms and tries to break free in Nearby, the child forcibly removed the arms of the priest.
It is unclear where and when the video was taken, and little is known about the circumstances of the incident.