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A six-week-old child has died after suffering a heart attack during a baptism ceremony in an Orthodox Church in Romania, according to reports.
The incident happened in the city of Suceava at the “Church” of St. Constantin and Elena, where according to Orthodox ordinances, the baby was completely submerged three times for the ceremony.
Emerging unresponsive, he was rushed to the hospital where he was resuscitated and put on a ventilator, then succumbed to his injuries.
According to the child’s father, during the autopsy doctors found 110 mm of liquid in the baby’s lungs.
He told local paper Monitorul de Suceava that he was outraged at the priest’s behavior, particularly because his child was born premature and was “fragile” (Note: We’re using Google Translate for the translation).
The boy was crying, but the priest immersed him three times in water and he inhaled water…
The baby had blood on his nose. I put him face down to get the water out. He didn’t recover.
The priest who performed the baptism, Alexandru Mazarache, was ordained in 2007 and was experienced in the task, having overseeing baptisms for nearly 15 years, according to his Archbishop Doru Budeanu.
Despite the outcry and a petition to cease the practice, he said that the method of baptism will not change, but that “more attention will probably be needed to keep the nose and mouth above the water.”
The baptism was filmed and Police say the priest may be charged with manslaughter.
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