In Romania, a tragic incident occurred during a baptism service, where a six-week-old baby passed away. The infant was being baptized following the customary procedures of Romania’s Orthodox Church, which involves immersing the baby in holy water three times. Unfortunately, the child suffered from cardiac arrest.
Following the baptism service, a one-and-a-half-month-old baby was found in a state of cardiac arrest inside the church, as reported by Dan Teodorovici, a local hospital representative. He mentioned that the SMURD team arrived promptly and were able to stabilize the infant. The baby was rushed to the hospital where he was admitted in critical condition and required mechanical ventilation and intubation.
According to the autopsy conducted after the baby’s death, there was water found in the child’s lungs. The father of the infant, who was very upset, revealed that around 110 milliliters of liquid were discovered in the child’s lungs. He also stated that the baby was distressed during the ceremony and accused the priest of ignoring the child’s pain.
During an interview with a local news outlet, the father of the child claimed that his baby was crying during the baptism ceremony, but the priest continued to submerge the child in water three times, causing him to inhale water. He further stated that after taking the child to the doctor, it was discovered that he had 110ml of water in his lungs. He questioned why anyone would fully submerge a crying baby in water.
The father also mentioned that there was blood on the baby’s nose, and he turned him over to drain the water but it was too late. Authorities are currently investigating the tragic death of the child. Meanwhile, the church acknowledged the incident as a terrible issue that needs to be investigated. The church emphasized that a child should not be submerged in water without covering their mouth, nose, and ears, and that an experienced priest would use a specific technique to ensure the safety of the child during baptism.
The community was outraged by the tragic incident, and an online petition has been initiated to revise the church’s ritual. Over 61,000 people have already signed up to support the initiative.
According to Dumitru, the petition has a constructive purpose and is not aimed at the priests or the institution of the Church. While some religious authorities are open to modifying the longstanding practice, others are determined to maintain it.
The canons of this religion date back over a thousand years, and they see no reason to change them. The Tomis Archbishop stated that they are not threatened and will not alter their practices.