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A video showing an elderly Catholic priest slapping a baby boy who was incessantly crying during his baptism has gone viral, prompting outrage on social media.

He is heard telling the child "calm down, calm down, you must calm down" before holding its face, he then strikes the child with his hand after losing his temper as it continued to cry.

But when the baby continues to wail, the priest slaps the tot in the face with his left hand.

The parents are visibly shocked by the slap and try to pull the baby away from the priest.

The man who appears to be the child's father then steps in, prising the child out of the priest's grip, even as the cleric seems unrepentant and tussles for possession of it. After he fails to calm the child down, the priest ends up slapping the child, uttering the words "Calm down" in front of the toddler's surprised and shocked parents.

"I will spill water on the forehead, hmm?" After several failed attempts, the priest smacks the baby on his face.

It's unclear when and where the video was taken, Fox 8 reports.

"I don't care if you're a pastor, priest or one of Jesus 12 disciples", one angry viewer tweeted. "If. You". Ohlalalala! I will scream louder than you.

"I wonder how many millions of kids suffer inappropriately aged "discipline" like this behind the scenes in religious families who believe this is biblically sanctioned, though", One woman wrote.