Orthodox church leadership sitting on information about tsar's bones


Portal-Credo,Ru, 27 May 2017


The Moscow patriarchate is not hurrying to publish the results of the so-called church expert analyses in the criminal affair regarding the death of members of the family of Emperor Nicholas II, Interfax reports.


To the question about when the results of this work will be known and made public, the head of the patriarchal Council on Culture of the RPTsMP, Bishop Tikhon, known also as "Putin's spiritual director," stated on 26 May: "When it will be the wish of His Holiness the Patriarch, the Holy Synod, and perhaps a local council on this matter."


In January 2017 he declared that genetic expert analyses are being conducted in the best laboratories of the world, a very comprehensive anthropological expert analysis has been completed "with fundamentally new information," and historical and forensic expert analysis has been carried out.


As regards the recognition or nonrecognition of the remains as sacred relics, the bishop of the RPTsMP said, "final conclusions will be made only by a bishops' council."


It was previously reported that in July 1991, on Old Koptyakov Road near Ekaterinburg, a grave was opened in which were remains of nine persons. In the opinion of the official investigation, they belonged to members of the tsarist family, Emperor Nicholas II, his wife, their daughters, and also a doctor and servants.


After the opening of the burial site outside Ekaterinburg and the conducting of expert analyses, the remains of members of the royal family were buried in 1998 in a sepulcher of the Peter and Paul cathedral of St. Petersburg.


On 29 July 2007, during archaeological excavations to the south of the place of the original burial site, remains of another two persons were found. Many experts maintain that the remains belong to children of Nicholas II, Alexis and Maria. A government working group proposed conducting a ceremony of burial of these remains in the Romanov family burial vault in the Peter and Paul fortress. At the same time, the group gained the possibility of additional studies in order to dispel doubts of skeptics of the authenticity of the remains, particularly those of the head of the RPTsMP, Patriarch Alexis (Ridiger, 1929-2008).


Following this, the Investigative Committee opened an investigation in a criminal case about the death of members of the royal family. This permitted the start of additional expert analyses with the participation of the Moscow patriarchate for confirming the authenticity of the remains of Alexis and Maria.


In September 2015, in the Peter and Paul cathedral of St. Petersburg, in the presence of representatives of the RPTsMP, samples were taken from the supposed skeletons of Nicholas II and his spouse and also from the clothing of the grandfather of the last emperor, Alexander II, which was worn at the time of his murder. The new genetic expert analysis confirmed the genuineness of the skulls of Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra Fedorovna. In November 2015, the grave of Emperor Alexander III was opened.


In its turn, the Moscow patriarchate established a special commission for study of the results of the new investigation. In the event of a positive conclusion of the expert analyses of the genuineness of the remains, the question of recognizing them as sacred relics will be presented to the episcopate of the RPTsMP for consideration.


Patriarch Kirill of the RPTsMP declared on 2 February 2016 at a bishops' council: "I have been assured at the highest level that no haste and wrap up of the conclusion of the investigation by one or another date will be permitted. The investigation will continue as long as is necessary for establishing the truth."


Judging by the latest statement of Bishop Tikhon, the results of the expert analyses are ready, but the Moscow patriarchate is in no hurry to make them public. (tr. by PDS, posted 29 May 2017)


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