It might be in another language but there’s no excusing this whatsoever. Yes the priest is an old man and possibly used to children obeying. But any person that did this to someone’s kid in FULL SIGHT of them and did not suffer repercussions best have more than the protection of the lord on his side, or as many parents have already voiced he would be counting his teeth as he picked them up off the floor.
Does that sound too aggressive when speaking of an old man? If so, then what does it say when the same old man can simply slap a crying child in front of three adults that are responsible for the child at that moment? You might take up with the idea that he’s old, not entirely there, and gets irritable at times, but there’s still no excuse for such a person to be slapping a child or holding his hand over the kid’s face in the first place. Many of you might sit on the fence on this one when it comes to anything resembling a physical response, but many parents likely wouldn’t if this was their child.
The only credit he deserves is that he tried consoling the child.
Before I go too far he did manage to hug the child first and attempt to get him to stop crying. Children will cry when they don’t know what’s going on, when they’re uncomfortable, or when they are scared for their own reasons. Children cry, that’s a part of what they do. It’s unfortunate at times but it does happen. When it does happen we’re taught to show patience, compassion, and above all to find out what is wrong. So yes he did attempt to comfort the child, but that didn’t last for very long. Once he slapped the kid it should have been game over, grab the kid and walk away.
The natural response of any parent and/or guardian is to protect the child.
One very good point to make is that a priest is, even in these times, a person that many people will trust. They have faith in the fact that priests, despite being human, have a level of patience that is far superior to many people. Now this could be faulty thinking since priests aren’t perfect simply because of their station in life, but it is expected that a priest will know better than to resort to physical violence, especially against children. While the old man didn’t beat the child with a closed fist or drop him, he did slap him and even covered his face with his hand. That’s more than enough for any caring adult to want to grab the child walk away.
So why didn’t they?
Because from a young age many of us are taught that our religious leaders are to be respected and listened to in all matters concerning the church. As this was a baptism those beliefs are so deeply ingrained that simply pulling the child away from the priest seemed to be in some way disrespectful. But in any case, and speaking as a father, this child would have been pulled away from the priest the moment he dared to raise his hand.
Old or not, feeble or not, there is no excuse to hit a crying child. There is no excuse to hit ANY child in anger or even frustration. At the very least this priest should be reprimanded and relieved of his position. But somehow I doubt that it will come to that.