A New Jersey couple received an apology from the Newark Archdiocese after their 7-year-old nonverbal son with autism was removed from his sibling’s baptism by the priest running the ceremony.
Julia Vicidomini swiftly asked the priest to apologize for kicking her son out for being a “distraction,” but the priest refused.
The boy was playing with a ball during the baptism, prompting the ire of the priest of Christ the King Church in Hillside, New Jersey.
In a Facebook post, Vicidomini wrote:
“My husband told [the clergyman] that he thought a priest, of all people, would be more sympathetic to a child with special needs, that he was completely unprofessional and ruined our celebration.”
I’m disgusted! Just watched a video below of a priest in Hoboken, New Jersey kicking out a young boy with Autism from the church and his sisters baptism.
Who’s gonna fight for these kids if people don’t care? Will they have a chance is this world of hate
— Fredi The PizzaMan (@FrediThePizzaMn) August 10, 2020
IM CALLING YOU OUT PASTOR BECAUSE YOU KICKED A BOY WITH AUTISM OUT OF NJ CHURCH FOR MAKING NOISE DURING HIS SISTER'S BAPTISM HE IS NONVERBAL LETS TALK !! PASTOR YOU NEED TO BE EDUCATED ON AUTISM CHRIST THE KING CHURCH HILLSIDE, NEW JERSEY !! LETS TALK https://t.co/KgLrGFhQmz
— FuVaccines34 (@vaccines34) August 11, 2020
— Mayer Fertig (@MayerFertig) August 12, 2020
That's why I don't go to mass. Some churches are good with having kids, but most are not.
— Linsay Culver (@LinsayCulver) August 12, 2020
And these are the people some look to for spiritual advice….I have yet to meet a good priest
— FrAnCe (@FranciscoCespe3) August 12, 2020
“Yes, he was playing with a toy where he should not have been, however, the way the priest kicked him out of the church was completely rude and disrespectful,” Vicidomini continued.
“I tried to explain that Nicky has autism and doesn’t understand. We finished the ceremony, put the kids in the car and then [her husband] Marc went back in to speak to the priest. He explained that our son has autism and he is non-verbal and doesn’t understand. The priest then began to raise his voice and tell my husband that he should not have been playing in church and that it was a distraction to him trying to perform the baptismal ceremony.”
Some people didn't read the article, he dropped a toy in a private family ceremony it wasn't like he has tourettes.
Funny how the priests boss tried saying he didn't know, well the parents tried twice to explain but he was being an arse and not listening.
— Steven (@stevencrouch211) August 12, 2020
— DramaFreeLeo 💖💚😎🤓👀🤔 (@DramaFreeLeo) August 12, 2020
— JerseyGurl (@RenahsMommy) August 12, 2020
— Lady_Heat💯 (@HrBalla) August 12, 2020
Check @liquidchurch. They have a special needs ministry, have a lot of compassion.
Just give them a try, if you have kids with special needs. You'll be glad you did.
— John Tenac #AllLivesMatter (@JohnTenac) August 12, 2020
The Archdiocese of Newark said that “the pastor was unaware that the sibling playing in a nearby candle room during the ceremony has autism.”
“We offer our heartfelt apologies for the abrupt behavior demonstrated by one of our pastors on Saturday during a private family ceremony.”
One more reason for me not to go to church! Ignorance and lack of proper training always ruins the moment. God is in my home. Sad for loss of traditions and faith in priests.https://t.co/Hbz0RTlqev
— MV Groning Gonzalez (@GroningGonzalez) August 10, 2020
Not a good thing, the church should of evaluated the situation, before making the child leave.
— Bart Brandi (@BartBrandi) August 11, 2020
Church should be ashamed of their response as well. Just because you do not understand someone's (anyone's) needs does not mean you go off on them like that – especially a child who will not even understand why this all happened.
— Glen (@gpattwx) August 11, 2020
Wow! As someone who's raising an autistic child, this is enraging.
— Danielle Ames 🇺🇸🌊🌈 (@DanielleAmes10) August 12, 2020
Sorry, can’t help but think religion is dead in the US. Where are Christian values of charity, acceptance, kindness?
— Proudly Canadian (@ProudlyCanadia4) August 12, 2020
The Archdiocese added:
“The pastor did not understand the child’s behavior, he felt unprepared to respond appropriately, and his reaction to the situation was not pastoral. He acknowledges and is regretful for the mistake.”
Despite the Archdiocese of Newark’s apology, Vicidomini and her husband, Marc, do not intend to return to Christ the King church.