At the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Pope Francis called for uniting in condemning the war
Pope Francis has warned religious leaders of various faiths that religion cannot be used to justify the "evil" of war, probably referring to the Russian Orthodox Church, which supported Russian President Vladimir Putin during the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This was reported by Radio Liberty.
At the 7th Congress of Leaders of World & Traditional Religions in the capital of Kazakhstan, Nur-Sultan, on September 14, Francis called on those present to unite to condemn the war and religious justifications for it.
"God is peace. He always leads us on the path of peace, and never on the path of war," said Francis, who did not specifically mention Russia or Ukraine in his opening speech.
"If the Creator to whom we have dedicated our lives is the author of human life, how can we, those who call ourselves believers, agree to the destruction of this life?" The pontiff asked. Earlier this year, he warned Kirill against turning himself into Putin's 'altar boy'.
Patriarch Kirill, who spoke out in support of Putin and the invasion, was supposed to attend the conference but refused before it began. However, a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church is taking part in the event.
Kirill criticized the West's secular mentality and said that Ukraine's conflict was sown with foreign threats to Russian borders. In his speech, Kirill described the war as a struggle against the foreign liberal establishment, which allegedly requires countries to hold "gay parades" as payment for access to the world of excessive consumption and freedom.
"These attempts have led not only to the loss of the concept of justice in international relations but also to a violent confrontation, military conflicts, the spread of terrorism and extremism in different parts of the world," Kirill said in his message.
The Nur Sultan Congress brought together Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and representatives of other faiths – a total of 100 delegations – to discuss the role of religion in human development in the modern world.