July 15, 2013

Catholic leaders in Poland and Ukraine pledged mutual forgiveness for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians during the Second World War.

Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl, president of the Polish bishops' conference, asked forgiveness and also appealed to all Ukrainians and Poles in the world "to open their hearts and minds bravely to mutual forgiveness and reconciliation."

The Church leaders published a joint statement June 28 in Warsaw.

It was timed to commemorate the 1943-44 massacres in Volhynia and eastern Galicia, in which up to 100,000 Poles and Ukrainians were killed by rival sides under Nazi occupation.