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Really mean non-Orthodox priest ejects autistic boy from private baptism

Alpha60

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In what is among the worst cases of pastoral care I have seen, a truly mean Roman Catholic priest during a private baptism ceremony kicked out the autistic brother of the baby girl being baptized, for the lamest possible reason, that being the boy was distracting him. 

https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-jersey-priest-church-boy-autism

How could a priest even do that?  Why not instead anoint the boy with the oil of healing or pray over the boy?  In the liturgy Roman priests act in persone Christi; this to me implies they should seek to behave in a Christlike manner at all times. How did Rome even manage to ordain someone like this?

Fortunately the Archdiocese has apologized, but the priest hasn’t as far as I am aware.
 

LizaSymonenko

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I couldn't help but notice the priest's dirty sneakers!  He could have made a bit more effort in dressing himself to perform a Holy Sacrament of the Church.

His attitude was wrong.  He, not knowing the boy was autistic could have asked him to be quieter, or to play in the back of the church... but, he gruffly told him to leave... not even knowing that the boy had some issues.  This could have been a boy that simply needed to have been told to be quiet, but, he threw him out.

...and then when told he was autistic, he shook his head and didn't care... he was a distraction.  All of us have to work through distractions... priests included. 

All I can say is that maybe he was having a hard day and had run out of patience....but, if you read the mother's FB post, she stated that the father of the boy returned after the ceremony to explain to the priest about the boy's autism and the priest still didn't care.... and even came out to their car to defend his actions... which I think only made things worse.

Everyone is wound up so tight these days... we are all ready to snap.  We need to slow down and find our love, patience and mercy.
 

Ainnir

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Lord, have mercy.
 

Deacon Lance

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Completely unacceptable even if the boy wasn’t autistic.  Just goes to show ordination doesn’t prevent a man from being a jerk.
 

Ainnir

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Truth.  Nothing but our will prevents any of us from being a jerk.
 

hecma925

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Must be a big parish that the priest wouldn't know that considering the mother grew up in the parish.
 

Fr. George

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We, sadly, have plenty of Orthodox clergy who may make the same mistake.  Very sad, and certainly not Christ-like.  While worship is to be as dignified, beautiful, etc. as possible (and this burden should fall squarely on the clergy, cantors, choir, etc.), it's not performance art. 

Deacon Lance said:
ordination doesn’t prevent a man from being a jerk.
I think half the spiritual counsels to priests either expound on this or have it as a background assumption.
 

noahzarc1

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Most certainly had the priest anointed and prayed for the autistic brother and the baptism had concluded without any negativity that would not have ever been news worthy. There would be no Fox News headline, "NJ priest anoints the head of a 7-year-old boy with autism during church Baptism." I also note the mom, "Julia Vicidomini told Fox News ...." Why tell Fox News? Our entire nation has become guilty of solving our issues to the widest audience possible, particularly knowing these mediums have a good chance of picking them up and distributing them to the widest ends of the nation.

Then the name of this thread isn't particularly helpful, but again it gets clicks and traffic. Perhaps my thoughts on the matter come on the heels of the very sobering words of Solzhenitsyn that voluntary self-restraint is really the only thing that is going to be able to save the west. Sobering words 40 years ago, even more sobering today. Fr. George, I appreciated you bringing that talk to the attention of those who had never heard his Harvard address.

With all that said, Lord have mercy on the young autistic boy. I have very good friends whose lives were shattered when they learned their boy was autistic and probably could not have a particularly "normal" young man's life as they (and many parents) anticipate for a son. But what they have done and what he has grown to because of their love and nurture is amazing. I pray this young man can have a similar experience. Lord have mercy on this priest and clearly he was remorseful once he learned of the circumstances. I regret he and the archdiocese had to be nationally shamed into an apology, but tragically it is the only way some may accept an apology nowadays, (if at all.) 
 

Saxon

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"But Jesus said, suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me; for such is the Kingdom of Heaven."

The optics of incidents like this are bad, and push both people away from Christ. It reminds me of that old French priest who was filmed slapping a crying child at their baptism.
 

LizaSymonenko

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The truly sad thing is that in these modern times, what normally would have offended one family, now offends thousands.

Since this behavior, and lack of empathy, is broadcast via Social Media to thousands of viewers.... it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of thousands... who if they are not firm in their faith, may turn away... and those who have yet to know Christ... may never know Him.

We, as Christians... need to be super careful how we behave... because if we identify publicly as Christians, our actions, our words, our behavior reflects directly upon Christianity.
 
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