Some people may find this footage distressing.
A Russian Orthodox priest has been suspended for one year after he aggressively baptised a baby in the village of Gatchina, 25 miles south of St. Petersburg.
The disturbing footage shows Father Foty plunging the head of the one-year-old into a font that looks too small at the Marienburg Intercessional Church.
The baby’s shocked mother, named as Anastasiya, is heard shouting at the priest who prevents her from intervening and forces the screaming baby’s head into the water again.
“Let him go, he’s in pain,” she cried but the priest continued.
“He did everything to hurt the child,” she said of the incident afterwards.
“He saw that he was big, that it was not possible to dive him into such a small font. He had to splash the water on his head. But still he decided to do it his way. The little one was crying and wriggling. I was afraid, I ran to him. I tried to take the child away. I nearly caught fire myself because my scarf touched the candles around the font.”
News station Channel 5 tweeted a video of the ceremony, claiming that the child was “nearly killed” and had suffered bruises from the traumatic incident.
⛪️ Священник едва не убил ребенка во время крещения в Гатчине.
После церемонии на теле ребенка остались ссадины и ушибы.
⚠ Внимание: шокирующие кадры 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/TPDzZ4v52M
— Пятый канал Новости (@5tv) August 11, 2019
The Gatchina Diocese have also released the following statement: “The high rank of a clergyman obliges its owner to be the image of the Good Shepherd – Our Lord Jesus Christ, and to perform all sacred actions reverently, with the fear of God and a sensitive attitude towards the children of the Mother Church. Bishop Mitrofan expresses his sympathy to the parents and recipients of the baptised child and apologises for the behaviour of the cleric.”