Yulia Tymoshenko is described as a great lady in a letter by which Accademia Bonifaciana, one of the most influential humanitarian institutions affiliated to the Holy See, announces that the former prime minister of Ukraine was decorated with the international Pope Boniface VIII prize, former head of Kharkiv region administration Arsen Avakov wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

According to his knowledge, the prize was awarded to Tymoshenko unanimously.

“The letter of Accademia Bonifaciana President Dr. Santa De Angelis and President of its Scientific Committee His Holiness Franco Croci to the 2012 prize winner, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, expresses confidence that outstanding Madam Julia will accept the award and honor the academy by her personal presence and welcoming speech. In addition, the letter expresses support and hope for good news,” Avakov said.


He said he was invited to one of the latest sessions of the Academy. “President of the Academy Mr. De Angelis delivered a report and made a proposal in relation to the situation with Yulia Tymoshenko at a solemn ceremony attended by a significant number of guests and Academy members. The ceremony took place in the legendary hall of the Papal Palace in Anagni. It was in that hall that Pope Boniface VIII in 1303 was humiliated but not subjugated,” said Avakov who is now in Italy seeking political asylum due to criminal persecution in Ukraine.

The Boniface VIII prize is awarded by the board of directors of the Academy and the Scientific Committee of the prize that was instituted in 2003 by Pope John Paul II.

Over the years the award was given to outstanding figures of the Catholic Church such as the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Librarian Emeritus of the Holy Roman Church Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia.

The prize has also been bestowed on outstanding civil society activists, scientists, cultural personalities and diplomats such as Nobel prize winner Rita Levi Montalcini, president of the European Parliament Jerzy Karol Buzek, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Polish Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka, leader of the Albanian Christian Democratic Party Zef Bushati, astronaut Umberto Guidoni, Italian Minister of Culture Ornagi Lorenzo, and rector of La Sapienza university Renato Guarini.


Pope Boniface VIII (born as Benedetto Caetani around 1235) held office between in December 24, 1294 – October 11, 1303. He was the last pope in the 13th century to try to bring to life the doctrine of the supremacy of church power over secular. The failures in his efforts can be accounted primarily to changes in the political situation. Instead of feudal disunity in Western Europe he faced the growing might of centralized states – France and England.

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