A French Catholic priest today spoke of his shame after being forced into instant retirement for hitting a two-year-old boy for crying during his baptism.
Father Jacques Lacroix, 89, said ‘I am finishing my ministry now’ and that ‘there is an end to everything’.
He carried out the bizarre assault during a ceremony at the Collegiate Church in Champeaux, near Melun, in the south-eastern suburbs of Paris, last Sunday.
In a video of the incident that has gone viral, a clearly irritated Father Jacques is seen shouting at the boy.
‘Calm down, calm down, you must calm down,’ he says, adding ‘be quiet’ before squeezing the boy’s face in his hands.
The priest then stares at the boy in the eyes, and slaps him hard on the cheek with his left hand.