A distraught mother has revealed that a Russian Orthodox priest refused to baptise her baby girl because he thought the child’s huge birthmark was contagious.
Maria Khvostantseva, 22, said that when she took her newborn to a church in the city of Kurgan, the priest told her he would not allow baby Vika to participate in the group baptism.
Ms Khvostantseva local media: ‘The priest did not want to touch Vika. He said, ”The spot can be contagious and I think our congregation won’t understand this”.’
According to the mother, the ceremony is held for several families at once and the priest expressed fears that other parents will not agree to join it ‘because of the unusual child’.
Mikhail Nasonov, a spokesperson for Kurgan Orthodox Church said to local media: ‘We plan to conduct an internal investigation following the incident.
‘The priest in question will face disciplinary action. We condemn what happened.
‘I am sure if the mother goes to the church again, the ceremony will be held this time.’
Ms Khvostantseva said she rarely takes her baby daughter out because she wants to shield her from people’s judgement.
She said: ‘When I gave birth to Vika, the midwife said, ”She’s kind of dirty or what?”, and tried to clean her with a napkin.
‘People in the street often point their fingers at Vika and laugh. I am very upset because of that.
‘My baby is beautiful and very much loved by her family. My son says, ”Vika was kissed by the sun”.’
The baby Vika was diagnosed with large congenital melanocytic nevi. The condition is dangerous as there is an increased risk for it to develop into melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer.
The family is raising funds to prevent the disease, local media said.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Roksana Panashchuk