18 Aug 2012

Appeal for reconciliation by church leaders

9:05 am on 18 August 2012

The heads of the Russian Orthodox and Polish Roman Catholic churches have jointly urged their nations to end their mutual bitterness and distrust.

Patriarch Kirill and Archbishop Jozef Michalik signed an appeal for reconciliation in Warsaw on Friday.

They called for "forgiveness of wrongs, injustice and every evil committed against each other".

Russia and Poland have been divided by politics and religion for centuries.

Poland has a small Orthodox community but is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.

The BBC reports the four-day visit by Patriarch Kirill is the culmination of three years of talks between the two churches.