Baby dies after baptism in Romania
The six-week-old baby suffered a cardiac arrest during the baptism ritual in the Orthodox Church of Romania. The child was rushed to hospital soon after the ceremony but he was declared dead a few hours later. The autopsy report revealed liquid in baby’s lungs.
Since then, the Church is facing pressure to change baptism rituals which involves immersing infants three times in holy water.
An online petition calling for changes to the ritual had gathered more than 56,000 signatures by Thursday evening, The Guardian reported. “The death of a newborn baby because of this practice is a huge tragedy,” said a message with the petition. “This risk must be ruled out for the joy of baptism to triumph.”
Parents of the deceased were reported saying that the baby allegedly inhaled 110 millilitres of water. “I can tell you he was crying, but the priest plunged him into water three times, and he inhaled water,” the father said.
Local media recounted several similar incidents in recent years. The case has been registered as ‘manslaughter’ by authorities who are investigating the priest who performed the baptism. Local media says witnesses noticed the priest in question allegedly did not cover the mouth and nose of the baby while immersing him in water.
“An innocent dies in the name of religious ritual,” wrote a Twitter user. Another said, “This is what you call literal murder, not abortion.”
Featured image: Daniel Mihăilescu/AFP/Getty Images/The Guardian