A Russian Orthodox priest has been caught posing in luxury fashion labels, and is to face severe “penance,” as directed by his superiors.
This was sparked by a series of Instagram posts, in which the priest, Vyacheslav Baskakov, flaunted extravagant items from Gucci and Louis Vuitton, senior church officials have said.
The photos included luxury slippers, silver-buckled shoes, handbags and luggage worth hundreds of dollars—all of which have now been removed from his account.
As reported by The Guardian, “Church leaders have chided Baskakov for ‘poor taste’ and (organised) a disciplinary committee… to ‘bring [him] to his senses.'”
On top of that, Alexander Volkov, the spokesman for the Russian Orthodox patriarch Kirill, had some choice words to say.
“I hope this will bring this shepherd to account.”
“The life of a priest,” he added, “Cannot be divided between the personal and public and no clergyman can act like a priest in a church from the morning until lunch and then be whoever he wants from lunch until evening.”
However, the Kirill patriarch should probably do some reading up on his own religion regarding sinners and stones, because he himself suffered a similar scandal in 2012, after he was caught wearing a Breguet watch worth an estimated $30,000.
Although the extravagant timepiece was airbrushed out the photographs taken that day, the watch face’s reflection in a polished wooden table remained. The church apologised. But the internet never forgets…
But back to today’s faux pas: Baskakov has now apologised for being too hype, saying he would, “Suffer penance and shut down the Instagram, since I can’t behave myself humbly and appropriately.”
He also denied owning the items from Gucci and Louis Vuitton, claiming most of the photos were taken in stores, and that his sandals were actually ‘modest,’ but with expensive-looking buckles sewed on.