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Russian Church urges state to condemn murder of last tsar's family


MOSCOW, June 19 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian Orthodox Church believes that the state should give a moral evaluation of the murder of the royal family in July 1918. The 90th anniversary of the tragedy in which Nicholas II and his family were killed, is "a suitable time" for it," deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate's external relations department Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told reporters.

"As long as the state does not brand the murder of the tsar's family as a crime; doesn't tell who issued the order for execution; doesn't give an evaluation at the level of symbolically important moral decisions, it will be difficult for Russia to move one, without ridding itself of historical spots on its conscience," Chaplin said.

He said he was not a supporter of calls for "penance in public."

According to the Church’s doctrine, penance is taken for personal sins, individually, in the sacrament of confession. However, in his view, a moral evaluation of this lawlessness on the part of the state is necessary, so that this evil deed does not weigh heavy upon the nation's conscience in the future.

Vsevolod Chaplin noted that last year, the Prosecutor General's Office turned down the petition to rehabilitation the tsar's family, because of the absence of hard evidence that the death sentence had ever been officially drawn.

But his decision should not cancel a courageous move on the part of the society and the state - to condemn the massacre of the tsar's family, Chaplin said.

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