NY Daily News report
It all went so very wrong.
A priest in Moldavia has been accused of accidentally drowning a 6-week-old baby during the boy’s baptism, according to London’s Daily Mail
The baby’s relatives said he died Friday after the priest, who is referred to only as Father Valentin, did not cover the tot’s mouth and nose when he immersed the child in water three times.
The priest said he isn’t to blame for the child’s death in the Eastern European country. But the child’s family thinks otherwise.
“We couldn’t believe it but we thought the priest must know what he’s doing, but he didn’t. When we got him back there was nothing that could be done anymore,” the baby’s godmother, Aliona Vacarciuc, 32, told the London Sun.
“We all saw it. The priest didn’t put his hand over the baby’s mouth to stop water going in as he should have done and as they do at every other baptism,” said the child’s father, Dumitru Gaidau, 36.
The baby died on the way to the hospital, Gaidau told a local television station.Dr. Sergiu Raileanu said the cause of death was drowning.
Police have launched a manslaughter investigation. If the priest is found guilty, he could spend up to three years behind bars.
From the Toronto Sun http://www.torontosun.com/news/world/2010/07/28/14854931.html
A six-week-old baby died in Moldova last week after he was dunked underwater in a baptism.
The boy’s relatives told the United Kingdom Press Association he was drowned during the ceremony July 22 near Moldova, located in the northeast corner of Romania. The parents told Romania’s Publika TV that the priest didn’t cover the boy’s nose and mouth. He was put under water three times.
The boy was rushed to hospital, but died on the way there, his parents told the television station. The family had videotaped the baptism, which was reviewed by law officials.
The video has been posted on the television station’s website. It shows the priest submerging the baby into a large silver tub. The baby is blurred in the video but it does show the baby kicking as the priest takes him back to his family. It also shows the family gathered around the infant, but because it is blurred, you can’t see what the family members are doing.
Police questioned the priest. He maintains his innocence and says he followed church protocol, prosecution lawyers told the station.
The priest is facing a manslaughter charge and if convicted, could serve three years in prison.