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Pope to celebrate Mass to mark 100 years since the Armenian Genocide

2015-04-06

It will be a day to remember.  On April 12th, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to mark 100 years since the Armenian genocide. 

MIKAYEL MINASYAN
Armenian Ambassador to the Holy See
"After everything Armenians are still here...they have their own history, which is part of world history.” 

Armenia's Ambassador to the Holy See, hopes the Mass isn't seen as something political- but that's easier said than done. The mere fact that the Pope has agreed to celebrate it, speaks volumes. 

Under the rule of the Ottoman empire, roughly 1.5 million Armenians were killed from 1915 to 1923. Present day Turkey argues the deaths were casualties of war, while Armenia says it was a systematic plan meant to exterminate an entire people. 

MIKAYEL MINASYAN
Armenian Ambassador to the Holy See
"For Armenians, this centennial won't feel much different a year, two, five, six, seven or even 200 years from now. Armenians have been fighting their own inner war against injustice and ignorance for 100 years. This anniversary is important for the world, for Armenians, at this point, it doesn't really change much, but it's a way for the world to hear the truth.” 

Two years ago, even the Pope himself described it as the first genocide of the modern era, during an audience with the Patriarch of Cilicia, Nerses Bedros XIX. 

Armenia's ambassador says history is now repeating itself. 

MIKAYEL MINASYAN
Armenian Ambassador to the Holy See
"Christians from Iraq and Syria are using the same escape routes that Armenians used 100 years ago. FLASH Why? Because governments deny history, they avoid speaking about the truth.  They use cynicism to address political and historical facts.” 

The latest figures show that that roughly 20 countries recognize the validity of the Armenian genocide. Among them, Argentina, France and Germany. 

During Sunday's Mass, which will follow the Armenian rite, the Pope will officially declare Armenian Saint, Gregory of Narek, as a Doctor of the Church. 


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