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.