A priest in Cyprus has been accused of injuring a baby during the rite of baptism in a church near Limassol on Saturday.
Video footage shows the priest forcefully immersing the already-crying baby into the baptismal font. The toddler’s legs struck the edge of the metal font several times during the immersions.
The parents filed a complaint on the incident to the Metropolis. “The priest hit my baby, we all shouted at him to be careful, but he replied ‘I am responsible for the baptism,'” Ntina Shitta, the mother’s baby, said in a Facebook post.
“The baby became red and was in shock! This priest ruined our most beautiful day,” she added.
The priest offered his apologies to the family, but denied any intentional wrongdoing in a television interview on Sunday.
“The truth is that the baby at some point almost slipped from my hands and as you can see in the video I placed my arm under his hip to protect it. There was no intention on my part to hit or injure the baby.”
“I have baptized many children. When I realized that the baby was in stress, I tried to complete the ritual as soon as possible,” he added.