Priest loses temper & slaps toddler during baptism (VIDEO)

1 min

This is the bizarre moment a baby's relatives are forced to wrestle their child away from a French priest who slapped it during its baptism.

The clergyman hit the child in the face with his left hand after he lost his temper when the child would not stop crying during the ceremony. 

The outraged man and woman watching on, who appear to be his parents, react in shock and step in to snatch their baby back.

It is not known when the footage was filmed but it was captured in a church where the ceremony was conducted in French. 

At the start of the clip the woman who appears to be the baby's mother is holding in her arms while the priest, wearing white robes, begins the ceremony next to a baptismal font.

But it soon becomes clear that the child is not enjoying the process as it can be heard screaming loudly. 

The clergyman begins to look irritated at the loud noise and raises his voice to be heard over the baby's crying, apparently speaking directly to the child. 

The child's relatives still appear to be smiling as the priest brings the baby's head towards his, but the baby reacts badly and flails its right arm towards the woman. 

As it carries on crying the priest says: 'Calm down, calm down, you must calm down.' 

The priest, by now visibly annoyed, then holds the baby's face in his hands, looks it in the eyes and slaps it hard on the cheek with his left hand.  

His aggression prompts an immediate reaction as the baby cries more loudly, its relatives look shocked and another woman comes over to try to calm the situation by putting her hand on the clergyman's chest as if to hold him back. 

As the watching audience begins to murmur he repeats: 'There, you have to calm yourself, you have to calm yourself, there, there.'  

The man who appears to be the child's father then steps in, prising the child out of the priest's grip, even as the cleric seems unrepentant and tussles for possession of it. 

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