2017-11-27 11:06:00

Decision on authenticity of 'Yekaterinburg remains' up to Bishops' Council - patriarch (updated)

Moscow, November 27, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church currently does not have an official position on the issue of the authenticity of the imperial family's remains, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.

"The Church does not have a position on that [repeat] study yet. It will be formed in the context of the work of the Bishops' Council," Patriarch Kirill said while opening a scientific conference devoted to the results of the study of the "Yekaterinburg remains" in Moscow on Monday.

He said the Church had long declined all proposals to agree with the forensic evaluations conducted due to the "non-transparency" of the evaluation process and "complete unwillingness to include the church in this process."

"That is, they suggested that we trust the results of the studies performed," Patriarch Kirill said, adding that the approach of the state commission that conducted studies of the remains in the 1990s "fully buried all hope that the Holy Synod would agree with the results of the studies performed."

The situation changed later, he said, adding that he had mentioned in a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Church should be included in the evaluation process and that, in particular, the body of Alexander III, the father of Nicholas II, needs to be exhumed so that the necessary genetic tests can be performed.

"As a result of the new study, which was conducted anew according to all of the rules of investigation, we received some results," the patriarch said, calling on the conference's participants to ask the invited experts any questions.