2018-04-18 00:00:00

Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis urge world leaders to relieve tensions in international relations

Moscow, April 18, Interfax - The leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and Christian leaders of the Middle East have called on world leaders to relieve tensions in international relations.

"Our world has reached a point where there is a real danger of a breakdown in international relations and cooperation for the common good of the human family," Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Moscow Patriarchate's Department for External Church Relations, said in quoting a statement agreed upon between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia and Pope Francis and supported by the primates of a number of Christian Churches of the Middle East.

"Clearly, the horrors of the world wars of the last century can hardly be compared with the dire consequences of a world war at the present time," the statement says.

The telephone conversation between Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis took place the morning after the U.S.-led coalition struck Syria.

"In the face of this terrible threat, we appeal to all world leaders to recognize their responsibility before their respective nations, before mankind, and before God," the statement says.

"Together we call upon the political leaders to avoid a further escalation of tensions, to eschew confrontation, and to embrace dialogue," it says.