An Orthodox Church in Romania is under pressure and wants to change its baptismal process after the death of a baby following a ceremony in which he was submerged in water thrice.
More than 50,000 people have signed a petition urging the Romanian Orthodox Church to change the method of baptism.
“In view of the tragic situations in which infants have died after immersion in water in the baptismal font, the Church urgently needs to regulate this practice!” , can we read in the petition.
The six-week-old baby went into cardio-respiratory arrest after being immersed in a baptismal font three times during his baptism at a church in Suceava, northeast Romania, Antena 3 reported.
The baby was resuscitated by paramedics in the church and taken to the intensive care unit at Suceava County Hospital, but died after a few hours, Antena 3 said.
Police have opened a culpable homicide investigation. This is, without a doubt, a tragic case, one that will need to be investigated.
“There is a technique that an experienced priest always uses. This is how a baptism is celebrated with the greatest care”, declared Vasile Banescu, spokesperson for the Romanian Patriarchate.
Vladimir Dumitru, who started the online petition, told CNN that he did not want to abolish the Orthodox baptism ritual “but to change this sometimes brutal practice which involves a risk of drowning, especially in the case of children with health problems ” . “The petition is not directed against the institution of the Church or against priests but just a constructive intention ,” he said. “Through this petition, we want the practice of baptism to be symbolic by sprinkling the baby on the top of the head and not its complete immersion three times, and that this non-invasive practice becomes mandatory in all Orthodox Churches in Romania and the Diaspora. " , He said in an email.
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