Russian Church hopes to complete examination of Ekaterinburg Remains by centenary of Romanovs’ martyrdom

Moscow, January 2, 2018

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Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, believes the ongoing examinations of the Ekaterinburg Remains, which possibly belong to the Holy Royal Martyrs—Tsar Nicholas II and his family—should not be necessarily timed to some symbolic date, although it would be good to have the results before the centenary of the martyrdom of the Royal Family on July 17, 2018. His Eminence stated this view on the television program “The Church and the World,” reports Interfax-Religion.

“We can’t set any deadlines, but it would probably be good if it happened before the centenary of the tragic deaths of the Royal Family. But if the analyses aren’t finished by then, then we will keep waiting; we will wait as long as necessary,” Met. Hilarion stated.

The metropolitan stressed that a deadline should not be set “because we have to make sure that they are completed, that they are finished, that they give a conclusive result.”

The rigorous scientific investigations are taking longer than initially expected. Last year, His Grace Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Egorievsk, Abbot of Moscow’s Sretensky Monastery and Secretary of the patriarchal commission tasked with studying the remains believed to belong to the Royal Martyrs, announced that they hoped to present the final results mid-way through 2017, although he did note at that time that “the work is quite voluminous and the report will be quite large.”

Met. Hilarion added that the Church needs to be 100% certain if the Ekaterinburg Remains belong to the Royal Martyrs or not, before it can announce any final decision.

“For us, this question is of special importance, inasmuch as we are talking not just about the remains of the last emperor and his family, but about the remains of saints canonized by the Church, that is, about holy relics. Once we recognize the Ekaterinburg Remains as the remains of the Royal Family, we are immediately recognizing them as holy relics and will open them for access to pilgrims,” the hierarch emphasized.

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