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Ivan Matkowskyy, Postulatory Center for monasteries of Studyt Order of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, Researcher

To the question of the relationship between the brothers of Sheptytskyi and the Jews


The history of relations of the Sheptytskyj family and the Jewish people reaches back to those remote times when the representatives of the Sheptytskyi lineage held high and honorable secular and clerical posts, and the Jews, either upon invitation of King Danylo of Halych or King Casimir the Great, began to build up their own world in Halychyna.

Throughout the whole life of Metropolitan Sheptytskyi and Blessed Martyr Klymentii, a thread of cooperation with the Jews is traceable.

It should be noted that heroic deeds of the Sheptytskyi Brothers to save Jews during the Second World War were not purely circumstantial: they were preceded by a long-standing deep relationship with representatives of Jewish culture. In addition, the sense of responsibility of the Spiritual Pastor, as advocated by the Brothers, extended to all people of different religions and genesis with no exception.

The world-view principles of Metropolitan Sheptytskyi are important for us in order to understand what was going on in the then society in attitude to the Jews. Also, of importance is the influence of the Metropolitan on Kasymyr Sheptytskyi, later Fr. Klymentii, because the Archbishop was not only his Brother, but also a church authority and the leader. And if from under the Metropolitan Sheptytskyi’s pen letters and pastorals were published, they were directives, instructions, edifications and explanations for the faithful and the clergy, and not at all, the products of His own reflections or personal experiences, which Archbishop Andrey wanted to share with the faithful.

On the grounds of the available archive materials, an effort to reconstruct the chief moments of those relations was undertaken, aiming among others, to illustrate the fact that the saving of Jews during the Holocaust was not incidental, nor with any underlying reasons behind, but a natural manifestation of a good Christian tradition of «Love thy Neighbor», to which the Sheptytskyj were faithful.

Keywords: Andrey Sheptytskyi, the Blessed Hieromartyr Klymentii Sheptytskyi, Jews, the Holocaust, Galicia, Righteous Among the Nations.

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