This is the moment a priest violently plunges a crying baby boy into water in front of his horrified mother during a baptism in Cyprus.
Footage shows the priest forcefully immersing the infant during the wild ceremony in Limassol on Saturday. The baby’s legs repeatedly hit the edge of the metal font as he was dunked into the water.
The child’s furious mother, Ntina Shitta, has since said her son was left ‘red and in shock’ and accused the priest of ‘hitting’ the youngster.
The baby’s legs hit the hard edge of the font a number of times without the priest taking any notice.
He held on to the baby awkwardly by the arm and lifted it high above his head before violently submerging the youngster underwater.
The parents filed a complaint to the church after the ceremony which left the baby covered in red marks according to Ntina.
She said: ‘The priest hit my baby, we all shouted at him to be careful but he replied: “I am responsible for the baptism”.
‘The baby became red and was in shock! This priest ruined our most beautiful day.’
In a television interview on Sunday, the priest offered his apologies to the family but denied any deliberate wrongdoing.
He said, according to Greek Reporter: ‘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.’