Staunton, February 25 – Analysts at Russian Business Consulting have looked into the murky world of the finances of the Russian Orthodox Church and provided one of the most comprehensive pictures of how the hierarchy is squeezing the parishes of the church in order to pay for the needs of an ever-expanding hierarchy.
That investigation (rbc.ru/investigation/society/24/02/2016/56c84fd49a7947ecbff1473d) provides a wealth of specific details about cash flows that have typically been hidden “behind seven seals; and today Vsevolod Chaplin, a longtime protégé of Patriarch Kirill who was recently fired, provides a useful summary (pravoslav-pol.livejournal.com/40778.html).
Chaplin, who in recent weeks has led the charge for glasnost as far as the finances of the church are concerned (https://www.change.org/p/ор-архиерейский-собор-христианская-совесть-требует-открытости-церковного-бюджета), summarizes the income and expenditures of the Moscow Patriarchate for the last year:
Money from the bishoprics (which ultimately comes from the parishes) -- 300 million rubles
Money from monasteries and parishes in Moscow – 200 million rubles
Money from church enterprises like publishing – 150 million rubles
Interest income – 400 million rubles
Money from the state – no clear figure
A total income of “a little more than a billion rubles (15 million US dollars).
Support of synodal institutions (mostly salaries) – 150 million rubles
Support for religious training academies – 100 million rubles
Support for institutions abroad – 100 million rubles
Support for the construction of churches – nothing
Support for charity – “symbolic sums” of perhaps 10 million rubles
Support for the personal staff of the Patriarch and its residences, visits and other activities – no figures exist. And that, Chaplin says, is almost certainly “the main secret.”