News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Justin Welby and Pope Francis urge Russian Patriarch to 'use the language of Jesus not politics' to end Ukraine conflict

by Donna Birrell

The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury have both held separate video calls, with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church appealing for him to call for peace in Ukraine.

Patriarch Kirill has been widely criticised for not condemning the Russian invasion and for appearing to support the Putin regime. 

During his conversation with the Patriarch, Most Rev Justin Welby expressed 'grave concern' about the war and called it a 'great tragedy.' He stressed the need for an end to the violence and urged Patriarch Kiriill to publicly call for peace.

Lambeth Palace said the Archbishop had spoken of the need to find ways to live as neighbours in Europe without aggression and human suffering following the call of Jesus Christ on his disciples to be peacemakers.

Both leaders emphasised the need to achieve a lasting peace, based on justice, as soon as possible and agreed to continued communication.

In his video call with Patriarch Kirill, Pope Francis said the church must use the language of Jesus rather than politics.   

The Vatican said that during the call Pope Francis rejected the justifications for the invasion as a "holy war," saying "today we cannot speak like this. 

"Christian awareness of the importance of peace has developed.

"We are pastors of the same Holy People who believe in God, in the Holy Trinity, in the Holy Mother of God: for this we must unite in the effort to help peace, to help those who suffer, to seek ways of peace, to stop the fire.

"Those who pay the bill for the war are the people, it is the Russian soldiers and it is the people who are bombed and die," the pope continued. "The Church must not use the language of politics, but the language of Jesus."

Patriarch Kirill is a close ally of President Putin and has made statements defending Moscow's actions in Ukraine. He is said to regard the war as part of a struggle against sin and pressure from the liberal West.

As a result, some bishops in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have authorized their priests not to commemorate Patriarch Kirill in their prayers during public worship services. 


A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email