Moscow, November 27, Interfax - The final decision on the issue of whether the "Yekaterinburg remains" belong to members of the imperial family cannot be made by scientific tests, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"We are not just talking about the remains of ordinary people - we are talking about the uncovering of holy relics," Patriarch Kirill said at a scientific conference on the most recent results of forensic tests performed on the remains believed to be those of members of the imperial family in Moscow on Monday.
He said the issue of the holiness of relics does not belong to science, but to the secret part of people's life, so a decision on the identity of the "Yekaterinburg remains" can only be made by the Bishops' Council.
The patriarch said this in response to a speech made by a conference participant, a resident of Yekaterinburg, who said that neither she nor others in the city had a feeling of elation in the late 1990s, when the state commission first announced that the remains belonged to the imperial family. The woman said that what believers felt then can be better characterized as anxiety; they accepted this news as an "oddity" and did not feel any joy from the possible discovery of the imperial martyrs' relics.