Metropolitan Tikhon (Russian: Митрополит Тихон, secular name Georgiy Alexandrovich Shevkunov, Russian: Георгий Александрович Шевкунов; born 2 July 1958 in Moscow) is a bishop of Russian Orthodox Church and a popular writer. He is the Metropolitan of Pskov and Porkhov and was in 2015–2018 the head of the Western Vicariat of Moscow city. Superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow from 1995 to 2018. Bishop Tikhon is often referred as the personal confessor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In 1982 Georgy Shevkunov graduated from the Screenwriter school of the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. The same year he accepted Christianity, was baptized and moved to the Pskov-Caves Monastery first as a toiler then as a novice. His confessor was Archimandrite John Krestiankin.
In 1986 he was transferred to the Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, where he worked under Metropolitan Pitirim (Nechayev). His first appointment was connected with commemoration of the millennium anniversary Baptizing of Rus.
In the first Perestroika years he published a few polemic articles including "Ne uchastvuyte v delakh t'my" (Do not participate in the business of the darkness) originally published in the Zhurnal Moskovskoy Patrirakhii and republished more than one hundred times by different publishers. The work criticized then emerged practice of occult healing. His article "The Church and the State" was published by Literaturnaya Rossiya in November 1990. In the article Shevkunov argued that emerging Russian democracy would definitely act against Russian Orthodox Church.
On 2 July 1991 in Donskoy Monastery Georgiy Shevkunov took monastic vows assuming the name Tikhon after Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow. At the same time he was ordained into a Hierodeacon and in a month he was ordained into a Hieromonk.
In 1993 Tikhon was appointed the head of the newly created Moscow Metochion of the Pskov-Caves Monastery. The building of the Metochion was previously occupied by the collective of Orthodox Christian thinker and missionary Georgy Kochetkov. Tikhon later criticized Kochetkov and his followers for their "modernism".
22 October 2015 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church appoints Tikhon to be a Vicar of Moscow Eparchy. The next day is announced the Bishop of Yegoryevsk and on 24 October 2015 Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Chirotonized him as the Bishop. On 29 October 2015 he was appointed the head of the Western Vicariat of Moscow city.
Tikhon organized construction of a huge Cathedral to New Martyrs and Confessors of Russian Church in the historical centre of Moscow, Lubyanka. The construction is considered controversial as the newly build cathedral (55 meters high) would by much higher than Dormition Cathedral in Moscow Kremlin (45 meters high). Building of churches higher than Dormition Cathedral was traditionally forbidden in Moscow.
Tikhon is the author of the following books:
- "Father Serafim" (2002) - a children book telling the story of Seraphim of Sarov
- "Death of an Empire. Byzantium Lesson" published by Eksmo in 2008.
- Everyday Saints and Other Stories (Russian: Несвятые Святые и Другие Рассказы; literally "Unsaintly Saints and Other Stories") first published in 2011, translated to English in 2012. The book was published in more than 2 million copies claiming to be the most popular modern book of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2012 the book was the best selling book in Russia, competing only with Fifty Shades of Grey.
- "With God's Help Everything Possible. About Faith and Fatherland" (2014).
- 1989 — Сказы матушки Фроси о монастыре Дивеевском (documentary) (Mother Frosya's Tales about Diveyevo Monastery)
- 2007 — Псково-Печерская обитель (Pskov-Caves Monastery) (documentary).
- 2008 — Death of an Empire. Bysantium lesson(documentary). The movie won the Golden Eagle Award for Best Documentary of 2008. While film tells about Byzantium Empire many critics believed that the lesson about frequent turnover of the leaders causing death of empires is directed to modern Russia rather than ancient Byzantium.
- 2009 — «Чижик-пыжик, где ты был? Фильм о взрослых проблемах наших детей».
- 2010 — «Береги себя». Короткие фильмы антиалкогольной рекламы.
- 2010 — «Давайте выпьем!».
- 2013 — «Женский день».
Tikhon organized a number of historical exhibitions in Moscow Manege. The last one "My History. 20th Century" was devoted to the 1930-1940s in Russia and often talked about supposed positive contributions by Joseph Stalin. The critics considered the exhibition as an "apology of the Orthodox Christian Stalinism".
Tikhon is considered to be an ultra-conservative, but it is claimed that he never published anything 'xenophobic.' However, while leading a commission investigating the execution of Tsar Nicholas II and his family, Tikhon stated in 2017 that "many members of the commission believe it was a ritual murder that held special significance for Bolshevik commander Yakov Yurovsky," the commander of the execution squad who was of Jewish birth. This description fits the longstanding formula of blood libels used as pretexts for pogroms and other atrocities against Jews in Europe. Tikhon denied accusations that his accusations were antisemitic or that they referred to Jews at all.
Relations with Vladimir Putin
Tikhon is rumoured to be the personal confessor and spiritual adviser (dukhovnik) of Russian president Vladimir Putin although both men neither confirm nor denied it. Once asked about his relations with Putin, Tikhon answered: “You can believe those rumours if you want, but they certainly aren’t spread by me,” adding “I am no Cardinal Richelieu!" Still the men are very close, with Putin often taking Tikhon on his international trips. Their acquaintance goes back to late '90s. According to controversial Russian banker Sergei Pugachev, it was he who introduced Shevkunov to Putin.
- Zhegulev, Ilya (26 November 2015). "Самые влиятельные в РПЦ". Meduza.
- "Тихон, митрополит Псковский и Порховский (Шевкунов Георгий Александрович) / Персоналии / Патриархия.ru". Патриархия.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "Тихон, митрополит Псковский и Порховский (Шевкунов Георгий Александрович)" (in Russian). Official website of the Russian Orthodox Church. 19 May 2018.
- "Назначены исполняющие обязанности наместника Сретенского ставропигиального монастыря и ректора Сретенской духовной семинарии" (in Russian). Official website of the Russian Orthodox Church. 19 May 2018.
- "Тихон (Шевкунов)". Archived from the original on 2016-08-23.
- "Журнал Московской патриархии". 1995. p. 11.
- "РУССКАЯ ПРАВОСЛАВНАЯ ЦЕРКОВЬ XX ВЕК 8 СЕНТЯБРЯ". Pravoslaviye.ru.
- Shevkunov, Tikhon. "Батюшка Серафим. Архимандрит Тихон (Шевкунов)".
- Shevkunov, Tikhon (2008). Гибель империи. Византийский урок. Eksmo. ISBN 978-5-699-30886-6.
- Shevkunov, Tikhon (2012). Everyday Saints and Other Stories. Pokrov Publications. ISBN 9780984284832.
- Lomykina, Natalya (12 December 2012). "Книжные итоги года: духовника Путина читают больше, чем Акунина". Forbes.
- Архимандрит Шевкунов (2014). С Божьей помощью возможно все! О Вере и Отечестве. Moskow: Книжный мир. ISBN 978-5-8041-0696-7.
- "DVD - Сказы матушки Фроси - О Дивеевском монастыре - Фильм Архимандрита Тихона (Шевкунова) :: Православный интернет-магазин "Русский Паломник". www.idrp.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "Лауреаты премии «Золотой Орел» за 2008 год".
- "DVD – Чижик-пыжик - где ты был?. - Фильм о взрослых проблемах наших детей - Проект «Общее дело» :: Православный интернет-магазин "Русский Паломник". www.idrp.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "DVD – Береги себя. Короткие фильмы антиалкогольной рекламы - Проект «Общее дело» :: Православный интернет-магазин "Русский Паломник". www.idrp.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "DVD - Давайте выпьем! Проект «Общее дело» :: Православный интернет-магазин "Русский Паломник". www.idrp.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "DVD - Женский день. Проект «Общее дело» :: Православный интернет-магазин "Русский Паломник". www.idrp.ru. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
- "ЕПИСКОП ЕГОРЬЕВСКИЙ ТИХОН (ШЕВКУНОВ)".
- Alec Luhn (November 28, 2017). "Russian Orthodox Church suggests tsar's death was a Jewish 'ritual murder'". The Telegraph.
- "Russian Priest Deflects Accusations of Anti-Semitism". Associated Press. November 30, 2017.
- "РАСПОРЯЖЕНИЕ ГЛАВЫ РЕСПУБЛИКИ КРЫМ О создании Экспертно-консультативного совета при Главе Республики Крым" (PDF).
- "The Vatican's secretary of state visits Moscow for the first time in 19 years". The Economist. 25 August 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
- "Putinism's icons: A tale of two Vladimirs". The Economist. 5 November 2016. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
- "Putin and the monk". FT Magazine. 25 January 2013.
- "Ошибка президента" (1). Forbes. 2015.