POLAND-UKRAINE: CHURCHES’ JOINT MESSAGE MARKING 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF VOLHYNIA MASSACRE” “

The Polish Catholic Church and the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine will sign a joint declaration on the 70th anniversary of the Volhynia massacre. The document will be discussed at the 362nd Plenary of the Polish Bishops’ Conference from 21 to 23 June. According to the Remembrance Institute (IPN) in Warsaw, some 100,000 Poles and 10,000 Ukrainians lost their lives in the massacres carried out by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army between 1942 and 1944. The commemoration of this massacre brings to light again the conflicts between the Poles, who at the end of the 14th century lived in the regions of modern-day Ukraine which have long been attached to Poland, and Ukrainian nationalists, who during World War II sought to secure the independence of the country through collaboration with the Nazis. After the war, Ukraine became part of the USSR and it was only in 1991, after having regained its sovereignty, that it started to regain possession of its troubled history. During the pontificate of John Paul II there was a rapprochement between the representatives of the two Churches. In 2005 the president of the Polish bishops, Mgr. Jozef Michalik, and the then leader of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine, Card. Lubomir Husar, prayed together in Warsaw "for the reconciliation" of the two peoples. In May the faithful of both Churches made a joint pilgrimage to south-east Poland and Ukraine. ” “” “

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