War in Ukraine: "The Church must not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus", says Pope Francis

The Church "should not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus," Pope Francis told Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill during a video meeting on Ukraine on Wednesday.

The heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches, Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill, spoke on Wednesday about the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the Vatican, this interview focused on "the war in Ukraine and the role of Christians and their pastors in doing everything to make peace prevail".

A statement from the Moscow Patriarchate indicates that the two men expressed "the hope of quickly arriving at a just peace" and discussed how to manage the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.

The two religious leaders also underlined, during this exchange, the importance of the negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv.

"We must unite our efforts to help peace, to help those who suffer, to seek ways to achieve peace, to silence the guns", declared François in particular, recalling that "those who pay the price of war are the people, the Russian soldiers and the people who are bombed and die”.

In a very political sermon pronounced on February 27, the Orthodox patriarch had justified the intervention in Ukraine, seeing it as a war against the “forces of evil” which “fight the historical unity” between the two countries.

The head of the Catholic Church has, for his part, called for an end to the war on several occasions since the start of the conflict. Although he condemned the “massacre” in Ukraine, he always avoided mentioning Russia by name.

The Vatican reports that the pope thanked the Russian patriarch for agreeing to talk with him. He believes that they are both guided by the desire “as shepherds of their people” to find a path for peace in Ukraine.

Patriarch Kirill also discussed the Ukraine conflict with the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, on Wednesday.

"A detailed discussion of the critical situation in Ukraine took place," reports the Russian church, adding that they also discussed the "humanitarian aspect" of the crisis.

Camille Westphal Perrier (with AFP)

Image credit: Shutterstock.com / giulio napolitano

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