17 August 2012, 10:16
ROCOR not to hand over lately-found tsar remains for research
Brussels, August 17, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has categorically refused to hand over the recently-found fragments of the remains of the tsar family for laboratory research.
The remains were found not long ago during restoration at the St. Job's Russian Church in Brussels.
"The remains must on no account be subject to any manipulation. They are only for reverential prayers by the faithful," ROCOR, the Western European diocese of Russian Orthodox Church, said in a statement that reached Interfax-Religion.
During a session of the Holy Synod in Kiev in late July, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said that important news had come from New York, ROCOR's spiritual center, which had to do with the circumstances surrounding the death of the tsar family.
"These circumstances will, I believe, help us define our position on the issue of the so-called 'Yekaterinburg remains'", the Patriarch said.
Later, Alexander Zakatov, Director of the Chancellery of the House of Romanov, announced that lead cylinders containing earth from the Ganina Yama pit, where the bodies of the tsar and his family had been burnt, mixed with lipids excreted during the burning. There was an explanatory note in one of the cylinders.
"This is genetic material for new research," Zakatov said.
ROCOR said that the above remains, a small part of those discovered immediately after the beastly execution in Yekaterinburg, had been handed over by investigator Nikolay Sokolov to Prince Shirinsky-Shikhmatov in 1920. Two decades later, they were solemnly handed over to ROCOR head Metropolitan Serafim and in 1950 were transferred to St. Job's Church.
"We declare with all our responsibility that the document found during the restoration work is not new to us. There is a photo copy of it in the church's archives. Our church hierarchs have long been familiar with it Its contents have repeatedly been published," ROCOR said.
The cylinders, intact, were re-immured in the church along with the note which was enclosed into a new glass tube.