(Video) Priest Refuses to Perform Baptism After Unruly Girl Says “No”


A priest at the Greek Orthodox Church in Germany refused to perform a baptism on a three-year-old girl after she told him she didn’t want to be baptized.

The iPhone video of the incident, shot by a family friend and sent to The Pappas Post, has gone viral on various Greek news and blog sites and has been a major topic of the news in Greece.

The priest, an Archimandrite of the church named Fr. Petros Klitsch from the Metamorphosis Greek Orthodox Church in Munich, refused young Lydia her baptism after the the girl– appearing to be agitated and unruly– responded “no” several times after he tried calming her and asking her if she wanted to be baptized.

Fr. Klits later apologized to the family following numerous interviews on Greek television stations.

The video of the incident is below:



  1. James Katsaounis on

    I honestly don't think I fault the priest on this one. The little girl can always be baptized when she is prepared to be. Why force it upon her when she clearly says no. I understand this was embarrassing to the family but maybe they should have done a better job preparing her on the sacrament she was about to recieve

  2. I agree. The little girl did not want to be baptized. Being baptized is very sacred and 3 yrs old is old enough to be told that she should behave. Since she didn't….let it be.

  3. I don’t fault the priest, but I don’t fault the child either. She was clearly uncomfortable and scared. She was not properly prepared in advance. I, too, question why she was not baptized as an infant but this happens sometimes. Whatever the reason, the family also needs to be understanding of the fears and sensitivities of a young child. Having baptized 3 of my own children (2 girls), I also believe that undressing in front of everyone would have been embarrassing for her, Even at her young age she’s old enough to be uncomfortable about that. Also, how was the priest going g to lift a child that size and dip her in the font? Something like this cannot be forced at this point. It is necessary to have patience with this child and take the time needed to get her comfortable with the entire procedure. This is a beautiful sacrament and everyone involved needs to be joyous, peaceful and loving.

  4. Anastasia Zouvelos on

    It is not up to the child. That is what the godparents are there for, to speak on behalf of the child. That is why the godparents, and not the child are asked to spit on Satan etc. This priest should not have asked the child anything. Greek baptize their children usually younger than this usually between forty days old and younger than two years old. I have seen babies and toddlers act a lot worse and the priest never stopped the baptism. g. The child was baptized by another priest

  5. The godparents are there to speak on behalf of the child. This child has absolutely NO clue what being baptized means and what the spiritual significance of the sacrament has on her life. But the real problem lies with the parents. First of all, why wait so long? Three years old is a long time to wait for baptism. Second, since whatever circumstances occurred that caused this delay had already happened and now we’ve reached this point where the child is three years old, okay… well, they should have somehow prepared the child. How many times was this child brought to church? Has she ever sat through a Liturgy? Does she know about “Xristouli” or about “Panagitsa” or anything like that? Was this her first time in a church?? Was this whole “baptism” thing an afterthought because it’s just the thing that Greeks do??

    Finally, why did this priest begin the service of “Katihisis” (which is really a service of “exorcism”) in the middle of the church? This begins in the NARTHEX, before entering the church proper, and only after the godparent has responded to the questions of renouncing Satan and accepting Christ, THEN the service moves into the Church. Something’s wrong here…

  6. Katie Vassilas on

    It was not the priests fault, nor the childs, but the priests attitude needs an adjustment. He seemed irritated and annoyed. I was baptized at 3. My dad held me and I was crying. The priest dunked me and all. I forgot all about it afterwards in my fancy little dress waving to the video camera.

  7. Toni Kelaidis on

    I find both lack of respect for the sacrament by the child and her parents and the parents lack of discipline with their child disgusting. At the age of three she should be able to understand the importance of baptism in her faith. The parents not trying to discipline her and her actions show their lack of respect for the church. I have two daughters and neither of them would have gotten away with that type of behavior in church.

  8. All you that agree with a little 3 year old need need some brain adjustment. Are you all saying that you are taking suggestions from a child? Maybe we should let the child dictate to all of us grown ups? Well maybe the kid likes to smoke also ? You blundering idiots! Thanasis.

  9. Demetrios James Malefakis on


  10. Eleni Dimitriou on

    three children I have and two were baptized when there were ready!!! I asked and prepared my children, first child was baptized at 4, second when he was 6! and my little one now 5 she just said she is ready to get baptized! I believe the priest did well listening to the child.

  11. Constantina Alexopoulos on

    I think the Priest was polite and kind…I think the 3 year old had an attitude. Hands on her waist, running around, screaming, ignoring the priest and her parents, kicking, I'm sorry but for a 3 year old she was NOT behaving. I was baptized when I was 5 years old because my parents wanted to baptize me in Greece. I remember it clearly, I cried because I was naked and was affraid of the water other than that I was respectful.

  12. Constantina Alexopoulos on

    How can you compare "smoking" to baptism. Let's not compare things that have nothing in common.

  13. Adriann Giovanni on

    Really ?? Perhaps you are right .. I will have to ask our priest then and I am of faith why do you question me sir ? and I wasn't judging merely rendering an opinion .. <3

  14. Holy cow, maybe the priest should of taken a break, but the parents should of prepared the little girl, so I can understand the priest point of view, he asked a few times and she denied him, its embarrassing for the parents but they must understand the priest position. I know toddlers can be a handful, especially freaking out on a day like this, but this was NOT the priest fault, the child was NOT prepared at all for this.

  15. I had to see the video again, lol she had her hands at her waist, had an attitude from the beginning, and instead of the parents discipline her from the get go they didn't…, which caused the girl to have a bigger attitude.this is a hard call, but the priest had no choice, she denied being baptized. maybe she had a bad night and woke up grabby, i don't know, but this is not priest fault, sorry to the parents

  16. This is just my view of the ; not my judgement: To be fair, the little girl seemed to be resisting the awkwardness of the situation – perhaps not baptism itself and its sacred meaning. Babies often cry at their Christenings, but their Nouno & Nouna speak for them. However, they did not appear to be asked or take an active part. I think it's possible the child was not prepared at all; and noone really seemed to step in and explain to her the sacred nature of what she was going through so that she could better understand and accept it. She also didn't seem to know the priest – and perhaps he didn't know her, either. Also to be fair to the priest: although his decision may have been controversial, if I understand the sacraments correctly, the priest does have the authority to make such a decision. Our priest here in Washington, DC, was very strict about administering the sacraments. We didn't like some of his choices, but we respected them. He was the representative for God in the Church.

  17. Clearly this little girl was not prepared for this holy sacrament which in the Greek Orthodox Church is usually performed earlier in a child’s life. The parents and Godparents obviously did not prepare her properly. Yet, even though the priest was polite, he in my opinion ahould have temporarily paused the service…then, Take the family and the child aside and help the child understand what was going on. Children need to know what is going to be happening prior to the actual event, lest you get a reaction like this l3 year old’s. Yea she was sassy, but was more than likely acting out of fear. Im going to say that ALL the adults involved should have prepared accordingly.

  18. Andrew Antipas on

    The child is well within her human rights. Infant baptism is a human rights abuse, you are forcing a belief system on an individual without their consent. The first Christians did not believe in infant baptism, most Christians were baptized when they were mature enough to consent. The priest is correct in what he has done. The role of godparents was to guide a child into Christianity and once they were old enough that child made the decision to be baptized.

  19. Dana Aritonovich on

    I am Serbian Orthodox and we baptize infants. I never heard of anyone Orthodox waiting this long to baptize a child. That is their choice, of course, but it does seem strange to me as well.

  20. Sophia Liristis on

    I think this just made me sick to my stomach! Unfortunately, there might be some instances/life events that some parents wouldhave to wait until child is older. For example, I was also baptized at 3 and 1/2 years old. I was not asked if I “wanted” to be baptized. I was going to be baptized whether I wanted to or not. Do you ask a child if they “want” to go to the doctor? No! I am appalled at the fact the priest even did that! That is a shame to our Church and Religion. Disgraceful! I have a 1 and 1/2 year old that will be baptized this summer, an ti rwtisei o papas an thelei na baftistei..ti tha pei to paidi?? I am definitely going to share this video because I am extremely ashamed in what this priest did!

  21. Ioanna Athanasakis on

    The priest has a responsibility to perform the baptism! And should never take the word of a three year old! Shameful!!

  22. Ioanna Athanasakis on

    Exactly! That's what a real baptism does! Reads all the prayers of exorcism over the water and then blessed it! This is why it's imperative to be baptized as an infant , to be protected from holy spirit!

  23. Ioanna Athanasakis on

    Exactly! Children deny things all the time, mine doesn't like washing his hair, but he doesn't get away with it! Maybe priest needs an exorcism too!

  24. Ioanna Athanasakis on

    No! Kids should not be allowed to figure out what they want, because they don't know! And parents are responsible for protecting and guiding our children. All this new age crap of choice is what is breaking down society and sending kids to therapists!

  25. Adriann Giovanni on

    Really ?? Is that how you view it Sir ?? Then why baptize her at all … Why even bother reading this story and why are you searching for people who have answers to replies that you know make sense .. If you didn't like being an Orthodox or Christian , Sir, then I pray for your soul .. And you are entitled to you opinion just remember I also am entitled to mine as well … Have a wonderful blessed day <3

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