Friday, February 5, 2021

Romanian Orthodox Baptism Kills Baby


A baby dies after an Orthodox baptism in which he was submerged three times in water

A tragic case shocked Romania and sparked a debate about the ritual of Orthodox baptism, which involves immersing the child completely in holy water three times. A six-week-old baby went into cardiac arrest after being baptized in the city of Suceava and died in hospital a few hours later, according to France Presse. The autopsy showed that the baby had water in his lungs.

The police opened a manslaughter investigation against the priest who officiated the ceremony. The Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) faced a wave of criticism and an online petition calling for a change in the baptism ritual and giving up the immersion of children. More than 60,000 people signed the petition by Friday.

Some members of the Orthodox clergy suggested that they would be open to a modification of the ritual, but others rejected any change. Archbishop Calinic of Arges, one of the most important hierarchs of the BOR, told the Adevarul website that the practice of immersing babies should be reviewed and "the most appropriate decision taken to respect the orders [of the Church] and to carefully avoid unwanted accidents".

The Romanian Orthodox Church is the largest and most influential religious institution in the country, having over 85% of the population as members. The Church has a strong social role and often intervenes in family and education policies, promoting conservative and anti-liberal positions.

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Source: 

[1](https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55948364), 

[2](https://www.dw.com/en/romania-orthodox-church-washes-its-hands-of-babys-baptism-death/a-56513955), 

[3](https://www.foxnews.com/world/romanian-orthodox-church-faces-growing-backlash-after-baby-dies-following-baptism),

 [4](https://globalnews.ca/news/7622357/baby-baptism-death-romania-orthodox-church/), 

[5](https://nypost.com/2021/02/05/orthodox-church-under-fire-after-baby-dies-during-baptism/)

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