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4 Aug, 2020 13:29

Luxury watch-wearing Russian Patriarch labels speculation about wealth of clergy ‘nonsense' as rocker Shnurov mocks him in verse

Luxury watch-wearing Russian Patriarch labels speculation about wealth of clergy ‘nonsense' as rocker Shnurov mocks him in verse

He’s been the focus of criticism over alleged over-indulgences, but the head of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, has urged the faithful not to believe the rumors swirling about his wealth.

He has also told his flock that such accusations are designed to prevent the spread of God’s word.

In response to the church's leader’s refutation, musician-turned-politician Sergey Shnurov dedicated a poem to the patriarch on his Instagram, referencing Kirill's timepiece and luxury cars. The Leningrad frontman, arguably Russia's most famous rock star, wrote about a "watch for a thousand [dollars]," and "a crucifix sticking out of a Rolls Royce."

Patriarch Kirill and other Orthodox priests are regularly criticized for their perceived flaunting of their prosperity, with the top man himself being frequently targeted. In 2012, the church was famously caught publishing a doctored photo of the Patriarch, with his Breguet wristwatch – worth up to $30,000 – airbrushed out.

Also on rt.com Patriarch Kirill gives senior nun his 'blessing' to sell off her luxury $135,000 Mercedes-Benz

Most recently, the abbess of Moscow's Pokrovsky convent was found to have allegedly bought a Mercedes-Benz S-class for 9.5 million rubles ($130,000).

“When you read terrible things about the Patriarch, about bishops, about priests, remember that there is usually not even a drop of truth in it,” the Patriarch said. “All this is aimed at compromising those who proclaim the truth of God, so that the people stop listening to us, and trusting us.”

In 2018, Patriarch Kirill explained that he had spent his childhood in a one-room apartment, one of a family of five. He also claimed that, from the age of 15, he’d survived on a “scant salary” while training to be a priest.

Also on rt.com ‘Go to hell in comfort’: Russian Orthodox deacon SLAMS nun for reportedly buying $135k Mercedes-Benz

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