Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Pope Francis called for stronger measures to protect children, stop war and tackle climate change as he urged the world to "take action before it's too late" in comments Monday during a virtual conversation with former President Bill Clinton in New York City.
Pope Francis was one of several guests at the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Global Initiative 2023 meeting, where he spoke about his involvement with Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital.
"It is necessary to share thoughts on how to contribute to the common good and how not to leave behind the most vulnerable people, such as children who, through the Bambino Gesù Foundation, are at the root of our meeting," the pope told the former president.
"It is important to spread a culture of encounter, a culture of dialogue, a culture of listening and of understanding," Pope Francis said.
"We are living through a changing epoch," the pope added. "Only together can we emerge from it better. Together. Only together can we heal the world from the globalization of indifference."
It was a message that resonated with Clinton.
"I was honored to speak with His Holiness Pope Francis this morning at CGI2023," Clinton wrote in a post on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "As he said, only by working together can we heal the world."
I was honored to speak with His Holiness @Pontifex this morning at #CGI2023. As he said, only by working together can we heal the world. https://t.co/jPHl39HAto— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) September 18, 2023
"You, Mr. President, have listed the many challenges of our time: climate change, humanitarian crises affecting migrants and refugees and childcare and many others," Pope Francis said.
"I would like to add to this, the wind of war that blows around the world fueling with the spirit of war, what I have repeatedly called the Third World War, but peaceful," the pope added. "We are in need of a great and shared assumption of responsibility."
Pope Francis called for unity, instead of conflict and indifference when it comes to solving climate change and other world problems.
"Please, please let us stop while there is still time. It's time to face migration emergencies. Remembering that we are not talking about numbers, but about people: men, women and children," the pope urged.
"Therein lies our challenge, fighting selfishness, narcissism, division with generosity and humility," he said. "It's time to work together to stop the ecological catastrophe before it's too late."