NEW YORK: August 22, 2012
Statement from the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
During its regular session on June 14, 2012, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia deliberated on the matter of the discovery of the remains and other possessions relating to the martyrdom of the Royal Family which had been hidden in the walls of the stavropighial Memorial Church in Brussels.
During renovations on St Job the Much-Suffering Church, which is also dedicated to the memory of Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas II, the Royal Family and all those martyred during that time of troubles, a sealed lead cylinder was discovered along with a glass tube with a handwritten document containing an inventory of the contents of the cylinder.
The fact that the Memorial Church contained these remains and other objects connected with the brutal murder of the Royal Family in Ekaterinburg had been known to the Synod of Bishops. It was also know that they were handed over by the investigator of the murder of the Royal Family, NA Sokolov, before his death (November 23, 1924), to Prince Alexei Alexandrovich Shirinsky-Shikhmatov, and in 1940 were given to Metropolitan Seraphim (Lukianov), who at the time headed the Western European Diocese, and that further, on October 1, 1950, when the Memorial Church was consecrated by Metropolitan Anastassy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, they were inserted into a sealed lead cylinder and built into the walls of the church.
The Synod of Bishops did not deem it proper to organize a search for the sealed capsule following the death of all the living witnesses, though naturally, over the recent two decades, many people exhibited an active interest in its existence.
Now, after its discovery, in light of the fact that the important question of the remains of the Royal Family is coming to a final conclusion based on new evidence and serious scientific research, and since controversy yet remains, the Synod of Bishops expresses its willingness to cooperate in the further study of this matter on the basis of the discovery together with the Church in Russia. An absolute condition of such research will be a pious attitude towards everything relating to the martyric end of the Royal Family and its faithful servants.
The Synod of Bishops believes and hopes that this will help achieve the final answer to this matter, which is so important to the Russian Orthodox Church.