Statement from: Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP
I was very proud to introduce a motion in the House of Commons yesterday honouring Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky for his courageous actions and his compassion for his oppressed Jewish Ukrainian countrymen during World War II. I am especially pleased that the motion passed with unanimous consent from all parties.
Please find below web-links to statements in the House of Commons by MP Ted Opitz and myself honouring Metropolitan Sheptytsky, and a photograph of Prime Minister Stephen Harper with various leaders from the Ukrainian Catholic, Ukrainian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Evangelical and Adventist churches, the Ukrainian Jewish community and the Ukrainian Muslim community
Minister Kenney presents a Motion in the House of Commons Honouring Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky
Hon. Jason Kenney (Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Conservative Party of Canada):
Mr. Speaker, on behalf of all members, we are delighted to be joined by religious leaders from Ukraine and I believe there have been consultations from all parties. I am pleased to propose the following motion and I seek unanimous consent for its adoption. I move:
Whereas Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944) of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, was the leader of Western Ukraine’s largest faith group during the period of the Second World War; and
Whereas in the darkest period of Europe’s history, with the deepening horrors of the mass murder of Jews in their homelands in Eastern Europe under German occupation during World War II, he spoke out eloquently against anti-Jewish violence and urged his congregants in a famous homily: “Thou Shalt Not Kill;” and
Whereas leaders and representatives of all Ukraine’s major faith communities—Christian, Jewish, and Muslim—are visiting Canada to acknowledge Metropolitan Sheptytsky’s good works; and
Whereas Metropolitan Sheptytsky acted to shelter and rescue Jews, saving over 160, including some present with us in Ottawa today;
This House is united in expressing Canada’s recognition of Andrey Sheptytsky’s courageous actions, compassion for his oppressed Jewish Ukrainian countrymen, and enduring example of commitment to fundamental human rights as humankind’s highest obligation.
MP Ted Opitz makes a Statement in the House of Commons on Metropolitan Sheptytsky
Mr. Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre, Conservative Party of Canada):
Mr. Speaker, during the darkest period of Europe’s history, as Nazi Germany sought to exterminate Jews in their Eastern European homelands, we learned of those who chose to speak out against the slaughter and do what is righteous. Among them was Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky, the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church who risked his life and that of his fellow clergy to shelter and rescue Jews from certain death. Thanks to his sacrifice, Metropolitan Sheptytsky saved over 160 Jewish lives.
Leaders of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and religious organizations representing the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths join us in Ottawa today to honour the courageous actions of Metropolitan Sheptytsky. They are hosted by the Canadian group, the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter, which has done amazing work to build bridges of mutual understanding between these two communities.
Metropolitan Sheptytsky lived as a model to the world. Let his actions serve as an example to all of us that we should never shrink away from our obligations to stand up against evil and do what is right.
Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP