Patriarch Awarded Shoe
Published: June 21, 2012 (Issue # 1713)
MOSCOW — The Russian Orthodox Church reacted strongly after Patriarch Kirill was given the Silver Shoe award, handed out each year “for the most dubious achievements in show business.”
At an elaborate award ceremony, the patriarch was given the prize for “the immaculate disappearance of a watch” in the category of “miracles up to the elbows,” RIA-Novosti reported. The award category is a reference to a Photoshop flub in which an expensive watch was digitally removed from the patriarch’s arm but its reflection remained, exposing the alteration attempt.
The presenters also used the name used by the religious leader before he became patriarch — Vladimir Gundyayev.
“If people want to make fun of the church and its leader, the question arises: How do they relate to the life of the church, and do they realize that their jokes on the leader … offend an enormous amount of their countrymen, parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church?” the church’s spokesman Alexander Volkov said Wednesday, RIA-Novosti reported.
Volkov saw traces of an anti-church campaign in the ceremony, saying that in the wake of anti-church events in the past few months, it can be seen as an “event planned by active opponents of the church and its leadership.”
The Silver Shoe award, created by radio station Silver Rain, was given out for the 16th time by socialite and opposition figure host Ksenia Sobchak, who came on stage in the costume of a centaur, complete with the back end of a horse attached.