Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov) jokingly compared his appointment as head of the Crimean Metropolis with reference to Kolyma, saying that the Pskov-Pechersky Monastery will remain for him the most beautiful place, “not exchanged for anything in his heart.” About it he declared in his farewell address to the parishioners of the monastery.
The Metropolitan in his speech thanked Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus’, who “unexpectedly” appointed him Pskov bishop and abbot of the Pskov-Pechersky Monastery.
“To go to Pechory – I didn’t even dare to dream about it. But dreams come true and quickly pass,” said Metropolitan Tikhon.
He asked the believers for forgiveness and called on them to pray for him. There, in Crimea, there is another large diocese, and it has its own difficulties, the Metropolitan explained.
“What is Crimea? What was Crimea in Ancient Greece and Byzantium? Kolyma! This is Kolyma! For us this is Crimea, but for them it was a place where people did not live normally. Both Chrysostom and Clement, the Pope, were exiled there. To Kolyma! So I go to the resorts of Kolyma,” he said, adding that “it’s beautiful there, but it’s not Pechory.”
Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church in October appointed Shevkunov as head of the Crimean Metropolis. The former Metropolitan of Simferopol and Crimea Lazar was sent to his retirement “with an expression of gratitude for the archpastoral labors he had endured over the course of 43 years.” The place of Metropolitan Tikhon will be taken by the vicar of the Novgorod diocese and the abbot of the St. Yuryevsky Monastery of Veliky Novgorod, Bishop Arseny.