St. Petersburg/Cincinnati, August 21, Interfax - The canonization of Emperor Nicholas II's family made "conventional" funeral of the remains of Tsarevich Alexey and Grand Duchess Maria impossible, head of the Union of members of the Romanov family Mikhail Romanov-Ilyinsky said.
"The Union of members of the Romanov family has recognized the remains, which have been found in Porosenkov Log, as the remains exactly of the royal family, back in the late 1990s. Many Association members attended a funeral ceremony at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in St. Petersburg in 1998," he said in an interview with Interfax.
"Further examinations, including those carried out involving the Russian Orthodox Church, did not change our position. On the contrary, we are convinced that our position is being more and more substantiated," Romanov-Ilyinsky said.
"The discovery of the remains of Tsarevich Alexey and Grand Duchess Maria in 2007 raised a new question, because before this in 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church has canonized the family as martyrs. This means that now we will not be able to hold 'conventional' funeral, as it was done in 1998," the interlocutor of the news agency said.
"It is very important for us, that the church has recognized the remains as those belonging to saints. We hope that in the future the remains of Alexey and Maria will be buried together with members of their family at the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral in compliance with traditions and with the church's participation," he also said.
Romanov-Ilyinsky became the head of the Union of members of the Romanov family after Dimitriy Romanovich, who died at the end of 2016. The union elected Romanov-Ilyinsky, who lives in the United States, as its head on August 1, 2017.
According to earlier reports, Patriarch Kirill chaired a meeting dealing with establishment of the authenticity of the "Yekaterinburg remains" in Moscow in mid-June. Russian Investigative Committee (SKR) employees led by SKR chairman Alexander Bastrykin and members of the special church committee dealing with the "Yekaterinburg remains" attended the meeting. Intermediate reports dealing with the performance of scheduled examinations as part of the criminal case compiled by SKR employees and members of the expert community were heard at the meeting.
Furthermore, the SKR permitted to make public the findings of those examinations, which have already been completed in the murder case of the tsar's family members.
Genetic examinations are under way at the best laboratories in the world, quite a sweeping anthropological examination "with principally new data" is nearing completion, historical and criminological examinations are under way, secretary of the church committee dealing with the "Yekaterinburg remains" Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) told the Interfax-Religion in January.
As to recognition or non-recognition of the remains as holy relics, "only the Bishops' Council will draw final conclusions," the bishop said.