HILLSIDE, New Jersey (WJW) — A New Jersey woman is leaving the church she’s attended most of her life after a pastor kicked her son out for making noise during his sister’s baptism.
WABC reports the family was at a private service inside the church when it happened. Since there was no crowd, they decided to bring their 7-year-old son, Nicky, who is autistic and non-verbal.
In video from the ceremony, you can hear him making some noise in the background. Nicky’s parents said that’s when the priest kicked the little boy out, as you can see in the video.
“Take him out,” he can be heard saying. “Out, out.”
His mother, Julia, tries to explain her son can’t control his actions.
“He has autism,” she said. “He doesn’t know.”
The family acknowledges they didn’t tell the priest ahead of time that their son has special needs. But after the service when they tried to explain, they claim the priest refused to apologize.
“He then came out right away,” said the boy’s father, Marc Vicidomini. “I said, ‘this is my son Nicoholas, the one you kicked out of church. He’s non-verbal. He’s seven years old.’ And right away, he goes ‘I didn’t kick him out,’ and started getting loud with me.”
Julia said the family does not intend to go back to the church and will instead find one more accomodating to children with special needs.
The Archdiocese of Newark issued the following response:
“We offer our heartfelt apologies. The pastor did not understand the child’s behavior. He felt unprepared to respond appropriately. He acknowledges and is regretful for the mistake. We are working with all to come to a pastoral resolution.”
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