Pope’s Explicit Condemnation of Armenian Genocide Strengthens Christian Solidarity; Courageous Stand for Truth and Justice. Within hours of his arrival in Armenia, His Holiness Pope Francis clearly and explicitly referenced the Armenian Genocide during remarks offered alongside Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, ending unfounded international speculation about his willingness to unambiguously condemn this crime.
“Armenians worldwide appreciate the Pope’s explicit condemnation of the Armenian Genocide – as a clear case of genocide – upon his arrival in Armenia,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Pope Francis – through words and actions – continues to openly challenge Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. By speaking directly and fearlessly about the Armenian Genocide, this time upon Armenian soil – and then making a pilgrimage to pray at the sacred Tsitsernakaberd memorial – the Pope is both strengthening Christian solidarity with Armenia and taking a courageous stand for truth and justice.”
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Referencing the historic mass held last April in Saint Peter’s Basilica, together with Their Holinesses Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch-Catholicos of All Armenians, and Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, and His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians, recently deceased, Pope Francis stated today, “The occasion was the commemoration of the centenary of the Metz Yeghérn, the “Great Evil” that struck your people and caused the death of a vast multitude of persons. Sadly, that tragedy, that genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims that darkened the minds of the tormentors even to the point of planning the annihilation of entire peoples.”