07 August 2009, 14:45
Archdeacon Kurayev: Patriarch is not forbidden to wear expensive watch
Moscow, August 7, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church was bewildered with media frenzy build over an expensive watch of Patriarch Kirill noticed by Ukrainian journalists on his hand.
"If the watch is really expensive, it is worth asking a question: does Patriarch know that it is that expensive?" professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Archdeacon Andrey Kurayev said.
He explained that Patriarch does not go shopping, and any church hierarch including Patriarch uses in his household and service things given to him as presents. "It may well be that the watch was presented to Patriarch by any president of those dozen countries where the Church performs its pastoral activity," Fr. Andrey said.
With respect to media frenzy over Patriarch's watch he also recalled that similar claims were put to righteous Saint John of Kronstadt: Fr. John called believers to lead a life of spirit and wore expensive silk frocks.
"St. John of Kronstadt once answered such a reproach: I have long doubted whether I can keep such expensive presents, but then I realized that if I give them away, I would hurt the feelings of the people who had made such presents," Fr. Andrey said.
Fr. John distributed anonymous money donations he was receiving and kept expensive unique things in order not to bewilder those who had given them to him. "This is the form of humility: you do not imitate a pilgrim monk, and humbly use things given to you by people and the Church, but you keep your heart free from such things," Fr. Andrey said.
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