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Russian Patriarch Kirill Does Not See Tragedy in the Economic Crisis

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill urged people not to weaken under economic difficulties in Russia, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday.

“A person earns a little more or less, … but in general there is no tragedy in the country today,” he said in an interview shown Thursday on television channel Russia 1.

He said that if a person equates well-being with material goods, “the slightest reduction in consumption may seem terrible tragedy.” However, he does not believe that money and material things should not take precedence over spiritual needs, Interfax reported.

Patriarch Kirill was previously embroiled in a Photoshop scandal in 2012 after bloggers noticed that the reflection of his $30,000 Breguet watch could be seen in a 2009 photo, while the Patriarch's arm appeared bare. The church said it was “an absurd mistake by the photo department” and called the photo a “serious violation of our internal ethics.”

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