10 July 2017

The House of Romanoff fully supports the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the question of the identification of the “Ekaterinburg Remains”

The Head of the Imperial House of Russia, H.I.H. the Grand Duchess Maria of Russia, and her son and heir, H.I.H. the Grand Duke George of Russia, fully support the position of the Russian Orthodox Church on the question of the identification of the “Ekaterinburg remains.”

The results of the new examination of the remains are being thoroughly studied at the present time, and the Church will at the appropriate moment issue a comprehensive statement of its own on the matter.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and the Church’s other hierarchs deeply appreciate how important the question of the authenticity of the relics of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers is for millions of Orthodox believers, and for all our countrymen who honour the memory of the martyred Imperial Family, whether they belong to the Orthodox Church or not. His Holiness has commented in a wise and measured way on the new findings, avoiding all political pressures to hurry the investigation along—an investigation which has been fraught with misunderstandings and disagreements among the public.

The Russian Imperial House, together with other citizens of Russia, awaits the official statement from the Church, which has the last word in authenticating the “Ekaterinburg remains.” If the findings of the investigation are in due course accepted by the Church as sufficient to identify positively the remains as belonging to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, then the Imperial Family will accept this finding with great joy. If, however, the findings are negative or inconclusive, then Grand Duchess Maria of Russia and Grand Duke George of Russia will accept this outcome with understanding and humility, as befits a faithful daughter and son of the Church.

The Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia was, however, puzzled and perplexed to learn from reports in the media that a representative of “The Romanov Family Association,” Mr. I. Artsishevsky, had issued a statement on behalf of the “Romanov family” that called into question the position of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Earlier, the Chancellery of the Imperial House of Russia had expressed the hope that the anti-Church pronouncements from Mr. Atsishevsky on behalf of this organization would cease, especially after the meeting between the Acting President of the “Romanov Family Association,” Mr. Dmitry R. Romanov, and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, which took place before Mr. Romanov’s death on December 31, 2016. Unfortunately, the pronouncements have not ceased.

As for the recent highly political and anti-Church statements issued by Mr. Artsishevsky, it remains to be seen if the “Romanov Family Association” (of which Mr. Artsishevsky claims to be a representative) will issue a rebuttal. But if no rebuttal is issued, and if Mr. Artsishevsky remains in his position as an official representative of the organization, then we must conclude that the “Romanov Family Association” is endorsing this anti-Church position and so must bear full responsibility for the words and actions of those who have joined themselves to campaigns against the Russian Orthodox Church.

In any event, neither statements like those from Mr. Artsishevsky nor the private opinions of some descendants of members of the Romanoff dynasty in any way reflect the views of the Russian Imperial House of Romanoff.

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