'I Just Wanted Him To Calm Down!' Catholic Priest Who Slapped A Baby Explains Why He Did It As He Announces His Retirement
Last week, a video which showed a priest slapping a baby during baptism went viral and millions of people all over the world were enraged.
At the time, no one knew who the priest was or what could have possibly motivated him to do something so disturbing. But now, he's speaking out about the action and the consequences he faced as a result.
89-year-old Father Jacques Lacroix recently talked about the shame and embarrassment of having to retire early due to the incident. Speaking to France Info radio, he said he did not mean the action to be a slap.
"It was somewhere between a caress and a slap, I hoped to calm him down, I didn't know what to do," he said.
He insisted that his actions were not as severe as people made it out to be. The screaming child prevented the priest from pouring water over his head for the baptism, Lacroix explained.
"I told him to calm down. I just wanted him to calm down," he said. In the video, Lacroix could be heard shouting at the baby to 'calm down' and 'be quiet.'
His actions were extremely aggressive and not only did he slap the child on the cheek, he also forcefully held the distraught baby against his shoulder.
The parents were very shocked by the priest's actions and soon wrenched the baby away from the reverend's grip.
Lacroix announced that that baptism was his last and he is leaving his ministry. He told the radio that he had been forced to early retirement.
Jean-Yves, the Bishop of Meaux attributed Lacroix's action to 'old age and tiredness' as he confirmed that the priest has been banned from officiating baptisms and marriage celebrations.