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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Tsar Funeral Priest Chosen

The Russian Orthodox Church has selected a priest, Father Boris Glebov from the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in St. Petersburg, to conduct the funeral service for Tsar Nicholas II and his family July 17.

Glebov, who also is a senior priest at St. Isaac's Cathedral and the Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, did not wish to comment on his role.

"I am carrying out the decision of the Synod," he said simply in a telephone interview Monday.

By choosing a respected and prominent figure like Glebov, 62, who lived in St. Petersburg throughout the blockade in World War II, the church's Holy Synod has carefully avoided the possibility of internal discord.

A lesser figure could have faced criticism from other members of the church, many of whom have serious reservations about the authenticity of the remains of the tsar and his family, despite extensive genetic testing. No one is likely to dare question Glebov's actions.

Glebov will conduct a standard 45-minute memorial service for the imperial family at 12:15 p.m. on July 17 in the cathedral in the Peter and Paul Fortress.

The coffins will be placed in the middle of the cathedral on a wooden stand painted to resemble marble.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexy II, decided not to participate in the service, citing doubts about the authenticity of the remains exhumed in 1991.