Priest slaps baby during baptism
A SHOCKING video circulating on social media appears to show a priest slapping a baby across the face while baptising the child.
The footage is causing outrage among social media users but little is known about its origin other than it was filmed in France and appears to be taken during a baptism.
In the clip a woman, presumably the baby's mother, holds the child while the priest speaks in French and taps the baby's forehead.
As the priest continues to speak, the baby starts to cry so he grabs the child's face in his hands hugs him to his chest, possibly in an attempt to calm the youngster down.
However, this appears to only make the baby more irritable and infant is seen struggling to get away.
The priest then holds either side of the child's face and appears to slap the crying baby, raising his voice after he does so.
At this point the man standing next to the mum, believed to be the father, reaches out to take the baby as the priest tries once again to cuddle the child and attempts to prevent him being taken away.
Though the audio is hard to hear, some social media users have managed to translate sections of the video.
According to Reddit user Maurear, the priest can be heard saying: "That's called a tantrum. I'm going to pour water on the forehead. Here. And then, we are going to embrace the little guy, because he will have become a little more Christian."
As the child continues to cry he can reportedly be heard saying: "Oh lala lala. I'll scream louder than you, okay? Calm down. Calm down."
It's at this point where the priest slaps the child and can apparently be heard saying "Calm down" in a raised voice before continuing to say, "You're going to calm down."
People in the background of the video can reportedly be heard protesting the priests actions, making comments like "no no no", "sir, he is scared" and "that's not legal/allowed".
The video has been shared across all different social media platforms, with one Facebook video gaining over two million views and more than 18 thousand comments from disgusted viewers.
"I'm trying to figure out why no one slapped the old man back," one person said.
"The way he was holding the child was already a warning sign. Seems like he was getting frustrated. I would have pulled baby away until he calmed down," another wrote.
One added: "This is disturbing and has really upset me. I would have gone ballistic if that was any of my kids."
Unbelievably, there were some commenters who defended the priest's actions.
"He is just a strict old man who thinks he has to be obeyed and does not recognise the strength of his grips," one person wrote.
"He does not slap the baby, the hand just bounces with a touch, not a slap force," another claimed.
This isn't the first baptism video to cause controversy, with one Greek orthodox priest's enthusiastic technique coming under fire.
The video shows the man vigorously dunking the small child into the water before being handed back to seemingly unperturbed parents.
Orthodox baptisms are usually done 'forcefully' but many online commentators have criticised the priest's rather rough approach.