Today Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney introduced a motion in the House of Commons expressing Canada's recognition of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's courageous actions and compassion for his oppressed Jewish Ukrainian countrymen during World War II.
The motion was passed unanimously.
“Metropolitan Sheptytsky is an enduring example of commitment to fundamental human rights as humankind's highest obligation,” said Minister Kenney.
Metropolitan Sheptytsky (1865-1944) of the Ukrainian Catholic Church was the leader of Western Ukraine's largest faith group during the Second World War. Throughout this darkest period of Europe's history, he spoke out eloquently against anti-Jewish violence and urged his congregants in a famous homily: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”. He rescued and provided shelter to Jews by allowing them to hide in Ukrainian monasteries, saving over 160 of his compatriots.
This morning, the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI) at St. Paul University in Ottawa held a symposium to examine Sheptytsky’s ethical action in extreme conditions.
The event, organized by the Toronto-based Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative, in cooperation with the MASI, hosted a delegation of representatives of the Jewish community along with leaders of the Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Adventist churches, along with the leader of the Ukrainian Islamic community.
They were present in the House when Minister Kenney proposed the motion.