Shcherbatsky, Tymofii

Shcherbatsky, Tymofii [Щербацький, Тимофій; Ščerbac'kyj, Tymofij; secular name: Тихон Щербак; Tykhon Shcherbak], b 1698 in Shcherbanivka khutir near Trypillia, Kyiv regiment, d 18 April 1767 in Moscow. Orthodox church hierarch. A student of the Kyivan Mohyla Academy and one of the leading singers in its choir, he briefly sang at the court choir in Saint Petersburg. After returning to Kyiv and graduating from the Kyivan Mohyla Academy (in 1727), he worked in church administration and became one of the closest assistants to Archbishop Rafail Zaborovsky. In 1737 Shcherbatsky was assigned hegumen of the Mhar Transfiguration Monastery and, soon after, of the Vydubychi Monastery in Kyiv. In 1739 he became the archimandrite of the Saint Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, and then, of the Kyivan Cave Monastery (1740–8). Favored by Empress Elizabeth I, he became metropolitan of Kyiv in 1747. He entered into conflict with the Kyivan academy, which he attempted to place fully under his own authority. He claimed for the Kyiv metropolitan the right to name professors to the academy, and issued a statute in 1752 reforming the organization and curriculum of the school. He supported talented students of the academy, including Hryhorii Skovoroda. Shcherbatsky’s attempt to establish an independent printing press for Kyiv metropoly brought him into conflict with the Kyivan Cave Monastery Press, and his efforts to take over Pereiaslav eparchy were opposed by the Russian Holy Synod. Throughout his tenure in Kyiv, Shcherbatsky was embroiled in disputes with Sylvestr Liaskoronsky, the rector of the Kyivan academy, and with N. Solonyna and M. Stefanovsky, the archimandrites of the Kyiv Epiphany Brotherhood Monastery. On the one hand, Shcherbatsky worked actively to preserve at least some of the former rights of Kyiv metropoly; on the other hand, his conflicts with other churchmen and institutions resulted in the weakening of Kyiv metropoly and contributed to its eventual subjugation by the Russian Orthodox church. Shcherbatsky moved to Moscow, where he was metropolitan (1757–67) and a member of the Holy Synod. He is the subject of a biography by I. Graevsky (1910).

Marko Robert Stech

[This article was updated in 2021.]

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