Canada recognizes Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky's courageous actions

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Ottawa, April 25, 2012 — Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney yesterday introduced a motion, that was passed unanimously by 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.

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.

“Metropolitan Sheptytsky is an enduring example of commitment to fundamental human rights as humankind’s highest obligation,” said Minister Kenney.

The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI) at St. Paul University in Ottawa held a symposium this morning to examine Sheptytsky’s ethical action in extreme conditions. The event, organized by the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter Initiative (headquartered in Toronto), 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.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Ana Curic
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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