26 July 2012, 16:18
Moscow Patriarchate says it has key info on czar's remains buried in St. Pete
Kiev, July 26, Interfax - The Moscow Patriarchate might reconsider its attitude toward what is widely believed to be the remains of Russia's last Emperor Nicholas II and members of his family and entourage, which were found at the site of their shooting near Yekaterinburg and were buried at the Imperial Burial Vault at the Cathedral of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg in 1998.
"I would like to announce very important information we have received from New York, which is related to the circumstances of the royal family's death. I believe these circumstances will help us determine our position, among other things, on the so-called Yekaterinburg remains. I will provide you with the relevant materials, and we will have to discuss this and make the necessary decision," Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in opening a conference of the Russian Orthodox Church's Holy Synod in Kiev on Thursday.
Patriarch Kirill also said that the participants in the conference should consider the convention of the Bishops' Council. "We are approaching a time when it is desirable to hold a council assembly," he said.
Eleven people, including members of the Russian Imperial Family and people from their entourage, were shot at the Urals regional council presidium's order in the early hours of July 17, 1918.
A grave with nine bodies was found on Staraya Koptyakovskaya Road near Yekaterinburg in July 1991. The remains were identified as those of Emperor Nicholas II, his 46-year-old wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their daughters Olga, 22, Tatyana, 21, and Anastasia, 17, and their servants Yevgeny Botkin, 53, Anna Demidova, 40, Aloizy Trupp, 62, and Ivan Kharitonov, 48.
The remains of two more people were discovered during archaeological excavation works 70 kilometers south of the first grave on July 26, 2007. The remains have still not been buried, but numerous expert analyses indicate that the remains were most likely those of Crown Prince Alexey and his sister Maria.
The Presidium of the Russian Supreme Court ruled to rehabilitate Nicholas II and his family members on October 1, 2008.
The Investigative Committee said in January 2011 that it had completed an investigation into the death of Nicholas II, his family members and entourage and closed the criminal case.
The Russian Orthodox Church has still not recognized the remains interred in Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral as those of Nicholas II and his family members and entourage, claiming that it was not convinced by the proof of their authenticity that was presented.