“Joint statement of Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis contributed to achieving reconciliation in Syria and thus helped save thousands of lives,” website of the Russian Church reports resuming the results of its Synod’s session in St. Petersburg.
Hierarchs pointed out to the importance of the appeal “to the immediate actions aimed at preventing further displacement of Christians from the Middle East,” and to spare no effort “in order to defeat terrorism taking joint, mutual, coordinated actions” addressed to the international community and voiced at the joint statement of the patriarch and the pontiff.
Members of the Synod expressed hope for “further consolidation of forces struggling against terrorism.” They also recognized well-timed the concerns about discrimination of Christians and crisis of family in certain countries expressed in the joint statement and urged to respect essential right for life, including the right of babies in mother’s womb.
Participants in the session touched upon the topic of Ukraine also reflected at the statement of the pope and the patriarch. Members of the Synod stressed that the Unia (Greek Catholicism) remains unhealed wound in relations Orthodox and Catholic relations and reported the importance of the appeal to reconciliation between Orthodox and Greek Catholics voiced by the patriarch and the pope.
The Synod hopes that the appeal of the Orthodox and the Catholic leaders will be heard by “all sides of civil confrontation in Ukraine” and urges advocates of the church schism in Ukraine “to come back to the saving fold of the Orthodox Church.”
The Synod urged bishops and clerics to explain clerics, monks and believers the message of the joint statement of the pope and the patriarch as its text does not “consider theological, dogmatic and ecclesiastic questions, but addresses acute social, political, moral problems of the present.”
The patriarch of Moscow and the pope met for the first time in history on February 12. The meeting had been prepared in secrecy for two years. The issue of holding such a meeting was on the Orthodox-Catholic agenda for about 20 years. Patriarch Kirill and Pope Francis signed a joint declaration at the meeting in which they addressed many present-day problems actual for Orthodox and Catholic.