NICOSIA, Cyprus – The best man slapped the groom on the back, which is an old Cypriot wedding custom. The priest punching the best man would be an innovation.
But Cyprus police said Monday that they are investigating a report that this allegedly happened at a recent wedding.
Police say the victim – the groom’s 22-year-old brother – wasn’t seriously hurt, but his family filed a complaint.
A family member – speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing – said the priest had gestured for the slapping to cease, then punched the brother in the chest and face when the warning went unheeded.
Bishop of Paphos Georgios backed the priest, telling the Cyprus News Agency that the backslapping custom, dating from Ottoman times, doesn’t befit the island’s Orthodox Christian traditions.