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Priest charged with baby’s accidental drowning


marciadottin, [email protected]

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RASCANI, Moldova – A priest has been accused of drowning a baby as he baptised the tiny tot.The holy man is being quizzed after the baby’s parents claimed he accidentally drowned their son at the ceremony.Witnesses claim Father Valentin did not cover the six-week-old tot’s mouth before immersing him in the font.The priest denies being to blame for the baby’s death after the baptism in the Rascani district in north-western Moldova, Eastern Europe.The baby’s dad Dumitru Gaidau, 36, said: “We all saw it, the priest didn’t put his hand over the baby’s mouth to stop water going in as he should have done and as they do at every other baptism.“We couldn’t believe it that he just put his hand over his belly and over the head and submerged him three times in the water.”The baby’s godmother Aliona Vacarciuc, 32, said: “The baby was crying as he went into the water.“We couldn’t believe it but we thought the priest must know what he’s doing, but he didn’t. When we got him back there was nothing that could be done anymore.”She said that she and the other godparents had challenged the priest and asked him: “What have you done.”She added: “He just told us that he knew better than we did what should have happened and that it was not his first baptism – he was experienced and knew what to do.”Dr Sergiu Raileanu, who examined the tiny tot however, told Romania’s Publica TV that his examination confirmed that the baby had drowned.Local police said they have launched a manslaughter investigation. If found guilty, the priest faces up to three years in jail. (SP/The SUN)

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