THE BISHOP of Constantia Vasilios sent a letter to mayors of the Famagusta district informing them that his bishopric decided to ban photo-shoots of couples outside churches and chapels after civil weddings.
The reason was a photo published in the British press recently and circulated on social media, showing a newly-wed couple from the UK simulating oral sex outside the Ayia Thekla chapel in Ayia Napa. The Constantia Bishopric said that it had reported the incident to the Attorney-general.
This type of wedding photos were becoming a trend, said the bishopric, which fears that more of its churches could become the background of such “obscene scenes”.
“The trend among foreign couples, having their civil marriage ceremonies in Cyprus, circulating on the internet ‘wedding’ photos with obscene scenes is alarming,” the letter said.
The bishop said that he has already reported this case to the AG, as it was a violation of public decency, and demanded action.
“To avoid similar incidents, we decided to forbid photo-shoots of civil marriages outside churches and chapels,” the letter said.
The couple from the UK, Mark and Samantha Simons, married in a civil ceremony in May in Cyprus. They told The Sun newspaper last week they took the photo “for a laugh”.
A similar photo of another couple, taken on the Greek island of Rhodes, caused the ire of the local bishop who banned all foreign weddings at the chapel of Ayios Pavlos. The couple could now be sued by others that had to cancel civil wedding ceremonies at the Rhodes chapel, The Sun said.