Trnava, May 27 (TASR) – The elite police department the National Crime Agency (NAKA) has begun investigating a recent case in Trnava involving a group of parents who allegedly attempted to prevent a Roma girl from sitting next to their children during a first-communion ceremony at Saint Nicholas’ Basilica, the police announced on Monday.
TASR reported on Saturday that in the run-up to the ceremony some parents expressed displeasure that the Roma girl would be allowed to sit among their children, and they even suggested her parents should organise a separate ceremony. The situation was eventually resolved by producing a seating plan that made the Roma girl sitting alone.
Trnava region governor Jozef Viskupic, whose son also took part in the ceremony, told TASR that he learned about the case after entering the basilica on Saturday. He said that he then approached the priest to tell him that “such an example of segregation was unacceptable” for him. The priest then agreed that the Roma girl would sit among other children.
Parents of the other children, speaking to Novy Cas daily, however, denied racial motivation, saying that they were upset to see the Roma girl applying for the ceremony late and without undergoing proper preparation, while her parents didn’t contribute financially or in any other way towards organising the ceremony, either.
“This wasn’t a racist problem as it’s being claimed; after all, another Roma child was also present,” said one of the parents.
Meanwhile, the mother of the Roma child who was allegedly discriminated against, said that she hadn’t known that she was supposed to chip in for organising the ceremony. She added that while she’s received many letters of sympathy, even from as far away as New York, and support from several lawyers, she’s filed criminal complaints against the parents, the Catholic parish priest and the catechist who organised the ceremony.