The Russian Orthodox Church is likely to decide on the authenticity of the “Yekaterinburg remains”, or the remains of the last Tsar and his family, in 2018, said Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations.
“The Сhurch will recognize the ‘Yekaterinburg remains’ as the true remains of the imperial family if exhaustive evidence of their authenticity is found. The forensic evaluations that have been performed and are now being performed, in my view, bring us closer to that day. I think it will happen in the foreseeable future, but one should not predetermine the result,” the hierarch said in an interview published in the Wednesday edition of the Izvestia newspaper.
The problem is that the remains, if authenticated, are considered to be holy relics and therefore need the recognition of the Russian Orthodox Church to be reburied together. It does, however, not account for the exceptionally long delay in deciding on the authenticity. So far, the remains of Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria, which were not found until 2007, have remained in the archive.