Now more than ever, divided Christians must reconcile with each other and become signs of peace in a time of war, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNS.
Meeting with a delegation from the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Pope said that as war continues to rage in Ukraine, it is a time not for “talking and discussing, but for weeping, for helping others and for experiencing conversion ourselves.”
“Reconciliation among separated Christians, as a means of contributing to peace between peoples in conflict is a most timely consideration these days, as our world is disrupted by a cruel and senseless war of aggression in which many, many Christians are fighting one another,” he said.
Continuing a long-standing tradition, the delegation, led by Orthodox Archbishop Job of Telmessos, was in Rome to participate in the celebration of the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.
In turn, a delegation from the Vatican travels to Istanbul every year in November to commemorate the Orthodox feast of St Andrew the Apostle.
The exchange of delegations each year, he added, serves as “a tangible sign that the days of distance and indifference, when our divisions were considered irreparable, is long past.”
Recalling the words of the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, the Pope said that as “sister churches, brother peoples,” Orthodox Christians and Catholics must unite in answering the call to help those suffering in war.
Pope Francis subtly alluded to support by leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church for Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“We also need to experience conversion and to recognise that armed conquest, expansionism and imperialism have nothing to do with the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed,” he said.
Amid war, reconciliation among Christians can foster peace, Pope says (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS)