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Poland honoured by Ukraine's Greek Catholic Church for helping refugees

30.11.2023 22:30
Poland has been honoured by Ukraine's Greek Catholic Church for helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invasion.
Ukrainian refugees welcomed in Polands Kraków in March 2022.
Ukrainian refugees welcomed in Poland's Kraków in March 2022.Silar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Diplomats from the Polish embassy in Kyiv collected the Father Omelian Kovch Award from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church at a ceremony this week, public broadcaster Polish Radio's IAR news agency reported.

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, said: "We honored the Polish people — not a state or institution, but ordinary people who spontaneously opened their homes to Ukrainians."

Shevchuk added: "We are proud that Father Omelian’s work continues, which means that Ukraine is winning."

Father Omelian Kovch served as a priest near Lviv, in today's western Ukraine, until 1942, when he was arrested by the Germans for organising help for Jews, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

He was sent to the Nazi German Majdanek concentration camp in Poland's Lublin, where he continued to provide priestly service for fellow inmates until his passing in 1944.

In 2001, Polish-born Pope John Paul II beatified Kovch, declaring him a "blessed" of the Roman Catholic Church and one step below a saint, the PAP news agency reported. 

The Polish presidential office said in March that around 1.3 million war refugees from Ukraine were staying in Poland.

Thursday is day 645 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, launching the largest military campaign in Europe since World War II.


Source: IAR, PAP, UGCC