After coming under fire for sharing a series of sick ‘grams in which he flaunted various Gucci and Louis Vuitton accessories, a Russian Orthodox priest has apologized, saying that his hypebeast posts were “a fight for freedom,” and that he was merely following his doctor’s orders.
Vyacheslav Baskakov, who is the priest of the Tver region, northwest of Moscow, was condemned for his Instagram activity by the Orthodox Church last week, the Moscow Times reports. A spokesperson for the Patriarch Kirill, the head of the church, told a Moscow radio station, “Such an immodest and unrestrained lifestyle should not be characteristic of priests in the church.” The spokesperson added that they would be investigating the hypepriest’s posts, and attempt to “return him to his senses.”
“I am very ashamed and I bear full responsibility for this,” Baskakov wrote in a letter published by the Ahilla Christian news outlet on Sunday. “I will pay penance and close Instagram, since I do not know how to behave modestly and adequately.”
He went on to explain that while the photos are his, most of the items he snapped (“especially sneakers and a large suitcase”) do not belong to him, and he took most of the pictures in stores because “no priest can afford such things.” And although he calls the pictures “stupid” and “childish” now, he says that he only posted them because he wanted to share “everything that was pleasant and not sinful.” He was warned against posting, he wrote, “but I fought for this freedom.”
Baskakov is currently hospitalized for neuralgia, a chronic pain condition. He wrote that a doctor once recommended a “change of scenery” to ease his symptoms, telling him that he needed to rest, change his job, or change his clothes. The priest said that he changed what he could — “my shoes and scarf.” His Instagram has, unfortunately, been deleted.