Russian Orthodox Church Apologizes for Photoshop Stunt

ABC News

View photo

.
Based on the reflection in the table, it is clear a watch on Patriarch Kirill's wrist was photoshopped out of the image.

The Russian Orthodox Church issued an official apology for digitally removing a luxury watch from an image of Patriarch Kirill.

He was pictured in a meeting with Russian Justice Minister Alexander Konovalov.

The original photo, dated July 3, 2009, showed Kirill, 65, wearing the expensive watch, according to the BBC. In the edited version, which appeared this month, the Patriarch is seen without the watch.

The deception might have gone unnoticed if not for one slight oversight: the reflection of the watch in the polished, shiny tabletop.

The attempt didn't fool bloggers, who latched on, prompting the church to issue an official apology.

The original image of Patriarch Kirill, released in July 2009, showing a watch that was later photoshopped out of the image.

"There will be a thorough investigation to determine why in this instance there was a crude violation of our internal ethical code," the patriarch's press team said in a statement. "The guilty ones will be punished severely."

The watch was a gold Breguet, with an estimated value of more than $30,000, the BBC reported.

The patriarch's press service responded, saying, "The person simply showed stupid initiative, not justified by anything and not agreed with superiors. It is clear that it is a mistake. We do not want to hide anything, we have nothing to be ashamed of," according to the Moscow News.

The Moscow News also said that Vsevolod Chaplin, the church's head spokesman, told the Russian blog Slon.ru, "I do not care what watch he has; moreover, I do not remember what watch I have on my wrist, I would have to look. I am not interested in this side of life."

View Comments (1540)

Recommended for You

  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America5 mins ago
  • Dad Tells Other Dads, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America14 mins ago
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America16 mins ago
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America22 mins ago
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America33 mins ago
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America41 mins ago
  • Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read This

    If you drive less than 50 miles per day, there is a way to pay less for auto insurance that few people realize. Are you overpaying?

    Provide-SavingsSponsored
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America42 mins ago
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America
  • Paris Jackson Reveals Struggle With Alcoholism, Pressures of Fame

    Paris Jackson, the only daughter of music legend Michael Jackson, is apparently struggling with alcoholism.In a now-deleted, profanity-laced rant on Instagram, the 17-year-old told her followers that she was being attacked online."I am expected to literally sit … all day replying to comments people…

    Good Morning America
  • Russians Arrest 7 in Alleged ISIS-Related Terror Plot

    Russian security services have arrested seven people accused of plotting terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State in major Russian cities, the country’s FSB intelligence agency said today. The arrests were made in the city of Ekaterinburg, located in the Urals region on the edge of Siberia,…

    Good Morning America
  • Chipotle Temporarily Closes Restaurants for Company-Wide Meeting

    Chipotle restaurants across the nation are temporarily closing today in an effort to educate 60,000 employees about the food-borne illnesses that have rocked the company in recent months. Food safety protocols will also be explained in the meeting. To make up for the closures, Chipotle is…

    Good Morning America
  • Teresa Giudice Opens Up About Finances, Prison, Future in Exclusive Interview

    "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star Teresa Giudice opened up about her financial situation, her time in federal prison and what her future holds in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Amy Robach. "[We're not in] foreclosure any longer, thank you, God," Giudice said in the interview, airing…

    Good Morning America
  • Hillary Clinton Campaign Leans Heavily on Feminism to Make Case Against Bernie Sanders

    In the closing days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton has been leaning heavily on feminism to make a case against her opponent Bernie Sanders. On Sunday, Bill Clinton unleashed a tirade aimed at people who he alleges are Sanders supporters who he said are making “vicious” and…

    Good Morning America
  • Child Returns Lost Wallet to Woman With Note: 'Hopefully, I Have Made You Smile'

    A California woman was moved last month after a child returned her lost wallet, along with an adorable note explaining why he did it. "It was just this simple act of kindness that just warms my heart," Taylor Sloan of Santa Rosa, California told ABC News.

    Good Morning America
  • 'Jason Bourne,' 'Captain America' and More Super Bowl Trailers

    Last night, the big game wasn't the only focus for fans. As always, the commercials were highly anticipated and none more than the big blockbuster trailers that dropped during Super Bowl 50.Matt Damon is back as "Jason Bourne" and Robert Downey Jr. has some choice words for a rogue Captain America…

    Good Morning America
  • Owner's Heartbreaking Letter Inspires Elderly Dog's Adoption After Living 5 Years in Shelter

    Roofus, a 10-year-old Weimaraner-mix, was first surrendered to the Bishop Animal Shelter in Bradenton, Florida, in October 2010. Then, sometime after the New Year, shelter employee Samantha Dominis and her fellow staffers came across the fateful letter, which was written by Roofus' original owners.

    Good Morning America