Mother who left baby in manger in New York church is found

26 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mother of baby in nativity found.

The mother of a baby who was left this week in a manger inside a Roman Catholic church in New York was found and will not face criminal prosecution, the county district attorney said late on Wednesday. Queens district attorney Richard Brown said the woman would not be prosecuted because she gave up her child in accordance with the state’s “safe haven” law. “It appears that the mother, in this case, felt her newborn child would be found safely in the church and chose to place the baby in the manger because it was the warmest place,” Mr Brown said in a statement. A custodian on Monday found the crying infant with his umbilical cord still attached wrapped in towels and placed in the indoor nativity scene at the Holy Child Jesus Church in Queens, New York police said.

Under New York state law, a parent may abandon a newborn anonymously at certain designated safe haven locations, as long as the baby is handed over to an appropriate person. “The beautiful thing is that this woman found in this church — which is supposed to be a home for those in need — this home for her child,” Father Heanue said. He walked to the front of the nave and found the child lying in the wood-frame nativity scene, which had been newly assembled but was still empty of all the animals and statues. Rocio Fidalgo, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Brooklyn, said that from time to time, people leave unwanted children at its churches, though she declined to say how often this happened. Parish officials said they had received well over a dozen messages in calls and emails from people around the country expressing interest in adopting the baby.

Richmond Hill has a predominantly immigrant population, with large numbers of residents from the Caribbean and South Asia, as well as sizable numbers from Latin America and elsewhere. Paul Cerni, the parish secretary, said that the shifts in the congregation’s demographics have vaguely mirrored those in the broader community, with a growing number of immigrants from predominantly Catholic countries of Latin America replacing those of Western European descent. “We should pray the baby gets a proper home,” said Heanue, who arrived at the parish in February and is in charge of its day-to-day administration.

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