“We can consider it again,” Yad Vashem comments on the case of recognizing Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as Righteous Among the Nations
This statement of the Israeli Institute "Yad Vashem" was reported by the the synkellos on monasticism issues the Lviv Archdiocese of the UGCC, Fr Justin Boyko, one of the initiators of the letter requesting recognition of the righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as the Righteous Among the Nations.
This is stated on the website of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.
On January 9, 2020, the Chairman of the Coordinating Council dedicated to 150th anniversary of the birth of Blessed Klimenty Sheptytsky from the national memorial of disaster and heroism "Yad Vashem" received a response in the case of an appeal to recognize Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky as a Righteous Among the Nations.
This request was made by the participants of the international scientific conference on the topic: "Father Klimenty Sheptytsky (1869-1951): the life and spiritual path of the blessed Catholic Church", which was held in Lviv on November 16, 2019, in the walls of the Stefanyk Lviv National Library.
In response to the signatories of the above-mentioned address, Ms. Katya Gusarova, head of the CIS sector in the Yad Vashem Department of the "Righteous Among the Nations", pointed out to the fact that " the issue of awarding Metropolitan Andrey had been raised and discussed more than once by the special commission for awarding this honorary title. Among the members of the Commission was Rabbi David Kahane, who participated in the discussion of this issue. For the well-known reasons (cooperation with the German occupiers, participation in the creation of the "Galicia" SS division), the Commission did not take a positive decision."
At the same time, the official representative of the Yad Vashem Institute notes that "the case of Metropolitan Andrey can be submitted for reconsideration if documents and testimony that are still unknown are received, which cover the Metropolitan's activities in a new way during the German occupation."
It should be recognized that the study of the legacy of Metropolitan Andrey is at an early stage because there is still no separate scientific institution that would deal with this issue. In the end, the question of Metropolitan Andrey's beatification in many aspects also rests on the question of a detailed study of his life and work.
This year marks 155 years since the birth of the righteous Metropolitan Andrew. The UGCC reiterated that each such date should be used to familiarize the general public of our society with its thoughts and ideas, values on which it built the life of the Church and Ukraine. The Soviet security services held entire departments that had been working for decades to denigrate the personality of Metropolitan Andrey because they were well aware that he was not only a symbol of the UGCC but also a symbol of independent Ukraine. Therefore, it will take a long time to properly understand and comprehend his legacy.
The beatification of Metropolitan Andrey, which we hope will open the way for us to honor him publicly as a saint of the Church. But no one will fulfill the task of knowing his legacy and passing it on to the next generations for us. To a certain extent, the process of beatification of Metropolitan Andrey is closely intertwined with the process of recognizing him as a Righteous Among the Nations.
The recognition of Metropolitan Andrey righteous among the Nations for Ukrainians is a question of historical justice, but for saved Jews, it is a matter of honor and duty to the Moses of the Ukrainian people, who in the XX century, throughout WWII was also a certain Moses, who saved them from elimination by the fascist totalitarian system.