A real internal war is raging in the Russian Orthodox Church. ROC Patriarch Kirill (Gundyaev), with the support of the Russian FSB security agency, has published insider information, which spoils the reputation of an influential Metropolitan, Tikhon (Shevkunov), among the Russian clergy. Tikhon is now the most serious contender for the patriarchal throne, as well as a President Putin’s personal spiritualist.
That’s according to a Russian Telegram channel Nezygar.
The channel released leaked correspondence between Metropolitan Tikhon and Eromonk Irenaeus, where the latter briefs the metropolitan on his trip to Kyiv. Correspondence shows that Metropolitan Tikhon is gathering dirt on his competitor Kirill. And his agents actually do have an opportunity to collect troves of compromising data in Ukraine regarding the patriarch.
Ukraine, in fact, is a lost territory for the ROC – the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has been recognized by several local churches. The infamous idea to convene an All-Orthodox meeting in Amman has failed. This is a complete defeat for Kirill, and now many hierarchs with the ROC in Ukraine are rather disappointed with such poor church leadership. The ROC in Ukraine’s clergymen are well aware of why they lost to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, also losing control over half a thousand temples across the country.
It is possible that Tikhon’s envoys promised to the ROC in Ukraine’s hierarchs some sweetheart posts and high positions after the toppling of the incumbent Moscow Patriarch for the defaming information on Kirill that goes beyond the already known failures regarding the OCU autocephaly.
Earlier, the ROC leader removed Tikhon from a top post at the Sretensk seminary in Moscow, the “alma mater of Shevkunov’s cadres”.
Metropolitan Tikhon’s earlier correspondence shows that he has been very carefully examining the possibility of opposing Patriarch Kirill’s decision regarding the Sretensk Monastery. Tikhon’s entourage had been gathered documents and legal conclusions to challenge HR decisions on the rolemodel Sretensk monastery, where Tikhon had created a symphony of secular power and the church.
It is worth noting that Metropolitan Tikhon should also reckon another nuance. In recent years, Metropolitan Onufrii (Berezovsky), who is now at the helm of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, has been gaining weight among the Russian clergy. He is being portrayed as a “martyr for the faith” who has persevered through the suffering caused by “schismatics”.