In Moscow, Tsar Ivan the Terrible heard about the indefatigable monk and fondly remembered the Solovetsky [[hermit]] from childhood. The tsar asked him to fill the vacant [[metropolitan]] [[see]] in Moscow. For a long time the saint refused to assume the great burden of the primacy of the [[Nikon of Moscow|Russian Church]]. He did not sense any spiritual affinity with Ivan. Finally, Philip agreed on the condition that Ivan would abolish the Oprichnina (secret police). In recompense, he promised not to meddle with the tsar's domestic affairs. On [[June 25]], 1566, Philip was enthroned as Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia.
After a short interlude, however, Ivan the Terrible persisted with committing murders under the aegis of Oprichnina. Ivan saw the Oprichnina as a form of a monastic brotherhood, serving God with weapons and military deeds. The Oprichniki were required to dress in monastic garb and attend long and tiring church services, lasting from 4 to 10 o'clock in the morning. From church they went to the [[trapeza]], and while the Oprichniki ate, the tsar stood beside them. The Oprichniki gathered leftover food from the table and distributed it to the poor at the doorway of the [[Refectory|trapeza]]. The pseudo-monasticism of Ivan the Terrible, a most grievous oppression over Russia, tormented St Philip, who considered it impossible to mix the earthly and the heavenly, serving both the [[Cross]] and the sword.
After the metropolitan publicly refused to bless Ivan's massacre of Novgorod, he was arrested during a [[liturgy]] at the [[Dormition Cathedral (Moscow Kremlin)|Cathedral of Dormition]] and immured at the Otroch Monastery of Tver. In November 1568, the tsar summoned the [[Holy Synod]], which had Philip deposed.