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ROME — The world's top Christian leaders — Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians — on Tuesday issued a joint appeal for delegates at the upcoming U.N. climate summit to "listen to the cry of the Earth" and make sacrifices to save the planet.

In their first-ever joint statement, the three Christian clerics said the coronavirus pandemic gave political leaders an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the global economy and make it more sustainable and socially just.

"We must decide what kind of world we want to leave to future generations," said the statement from Francis, Archbishop Justin Welby of the Anglican Communion and the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I.

But in the statement, they also noted that the threat is no longer far off.

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