The Priest and The Magical Disappearing Watch | Russian Orthodox Church Doctors Photograph

The watch seen around the world

by Mano Singham

I am sure some of you have heard the hilarious story of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church patriarch Kirilli I that has been all over the blog world. But just in case you missed it, here it is.

What happened was that the church’s website published what seemed like a routine public relations photo of the patriarch with some person.

Alert Russian bloggers noted that the patriarch, who had just delivered a sermon on the virtues of an ascetic lifestyle, was wearing a Breguet wristwatch that costs around $30,000. That story resulted in a subtle change in the website with the original photo being replaced by another in which the offending watch no longer appeared.

But eagle-eyed bloggers noticed that although there was no longer any watch on his wrist, the reflection on the shiny table showed the watch! When this was pointed out, the church apologized for the substitution and replaced the original photo with the watch.

But apparently no one alerted the patriarch to this reversal because he denied even owning such a watch, now an obviously absurd claim. Kirilli then claimed that he had looked through the many gifts he gets and found that he had indeed received such a watch but had never worn it and that the original photo had been doctored to insert the watch to make him look bad, an even more obvious lie.

Russian bloggers delivered the coup de grace by graciously providing the church with a new photograph where now it is the patriarch that has been photoshopped away, leaving just the watch!

This kind of guerilla journalism is why I love blogs.

These religious heads are such liars and Kirilli seems to be just another one of your run of the mill hypocrites, preaching austerity and morality which practicing something else, just like Pope Ratzo. “Russian bloggers have published rumors that the patriarch has a large country house, a private yacht and a penchant for ski vacations in Switzerland, though none of this has been proved… But the patriarch has presented himself as the country’s ethical compass, and has recently embarked on a vocal campaign of public morality, advocating Christian education in public schools and opposing abortion and equal rights for gay people.”

These people deserve all the ridicule they get.

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