Patriarch Kirill Pope Fransis
© Reuters/ Gregorio Borgia/Pool
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow greets Pope Francis at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana
The Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Pope Francis have issued a joint statement in connection with the worsening situation in Syria.

The world community was informed about this by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the department for external church relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

He read out the text of the statement, in which both priests expressed their deep concern that the ongoing hostilities in the Middle East threatened to escalate into a global conflict. Spiritual leaders warn that the world has approached a dangerous line - the failure of international relations of different countries and the curtailment of cooperation.

The document states that "the horrors of the world wars of the last century, do not compare with how catastrophic the consequences of the world war can be today."

In the face of such a terrible threat to humanity, the Patriarch of Moscow and and Pope Francis call on all world leaders to realize their responsibility to people and God, and to establish political dialogue with each other.

The appeal was also addressed to UN members - to remember their duty to the people of the planet and to overcome differences between themselves.

Metropolitan Hilarion noted that the appeal was made following the telephone talks of the Patriarch and the Pope, and was supported by the heads of the Alexandrian, Antiochian, and Jerusalem Orthodox churches, as well as several other patriarchs of the Eastern churches.