A Russian Orthodox priest has been banned from the clergy for one year after video emerged of him performing a baptism so violent that the infant’s mother filed a complaint with the police.
Footage of the August 10 incident at the Marienburg Intercessional Church in the Leningrad region city of Gatchina, 40 kilometers south of St. Petersburg, shows a priest identified as Father Foty using considerable force as he attempts to immerse a 1-year-old boy’s head in a baptismal font. After pushing the kicking and screaming infant’s head under water a first time, Father Foty can be seen fending off attempts by the protesting mother to take the child away from him as he tries to immerse its head again. At one point the priest appears to cover the boy’s nose and mouth in an apparent attempt to stifle his screams.
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