Usually, when government or religious leaders make splashy moves to save children, there’s an ulterior motive. In the case of Russia recently banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans, it looks like Putin is retaliating for a new U.S. law that bans Russian officials accused of human rights abuses from traveling to or having bank accounts in the United States.
The Russian Orthodox Church has predictably aligned with the Russian government. Church spokesman Father Vsevolod Chaplin justified the adoption ban by pointing out that the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners. “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing, and that means falling away from the church and from the path to eternal life in God’s kingdom.”
On the same day the ban was announced, the Church and government set aside an extra acre of land in Moscow to bury orphans who die. Since over 1,000 orphans die every year just from committing suicide, I’m guessing they’re going to run out of real estate pretty quickly.
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of Russian Orthodox Church, reportedly has a net worth of over four billion dollars. That was in 2004 — it may be more now, or less. What’s sure is that Kirill still enjoys a lifestyle that is the envy of many a jetsetter. When he’s not being a shrewd and successful stock-market investor, he indulges his love of skiing, raising show dogs, and attending car races. The patriarch owns villas in Switzerland, and lives in a luxurious penthouse with a view of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.
If Kirill decided to personally pay for all 700,000 orphans to have a school lunch every day, he could do it every day for the next one hundred years and barely put a dent in his fortune. Like many church leaders, Patriarch Kirill appears to be a “do as I say” kind of guy.
To put this ban in perspective, over 60,000 Russian kids have been adopted by Americans over the past twenty years. Nineteen of the adoptees have died. When looking at the abysmal statistics for kids not fortunate enough to be adopted, can anyone say with a straight face that the Russian Orthodox Church is looking out for the kids’ best interests?
[image via rt.com