Submitted by global publisher on Mon, 04/13/2015 - 19:27
In his Sunday “Mass for the faithful of the Armenian rite” the head of the Catholic Church called the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century a “genocide.” Speaking at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 12, Pope Francis addressed a numerous audience that included Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and the leadership of the Armenian Church. The Pope spoke of the dangers posed by indifference and failing to acknowledge the past.
“In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies,” the Pope said, adding that the first of them, widely considered to have been “the first genocide of the 20th century,” primarily affected the Armenian people. The other two, according to the Pope, were crimes of the Nazi and Stalinist regimes.
Pope Francis urged those present not to forget people who perished during those tragic times: “It is necessary, and indeed a duty, to honor their memory, for whenever memory fades, it means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!”
In his Mass, the Pope not only touched upon the events of 100 years ago, but also on more recent similar tragedies, including the events in Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia. “It seems that humanity is incapable of putting a halt to the shedding of innocent blood,” the pontiff said.
The full text of the Pope’s address in English is available here.
Pontiff describes 1915 mass killings of Armenians as the “first genocide of the 20th century”