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The Pope described it as a genocide? What comes next?

2015-04-17

When the Pope used the word 'genocide' to describe the massive killing of more than 1.5 million Armenians, the political repercussions were felt immediately.

Turkey wasn't happy. Within hours, it summoned its own ambassador to the Holy See along with the Vatican's nuncio in Turkey. It lashed out against the Pope, describing his words as an 'evil front.' 

NERSES BEDROS XIX 
Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church 
"The Pope spoke in a way that said, 'Let's leave the hypocrisy behind.  This is something that needs to be recognized.'” 

Nerses Bedros XIX is the Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church. He was present in the papal Mass that marked the centennial of the Armenian genocide. Over the years, Turkey, has long denied the massacre was a genocide and it has lobbied this stance internationally. Back in 2007 it threatened to close Turkish missile bases used by the U.S. if Congress passed a resolution recognizing the genocide. 

The country also spends money to stop educational and cultural events abroad that deal with the genocide. 

NERSES BEDROS XIX 
Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church 
"It won't be easy for Turkey. It could pose problems from an international point of view. Because it will have consequences that range from the economic to the political. Even though more than 20 countries have already recognized it.” 

Interestingly, a diplomatic ripple effect quickly followed after the Pope's comments.  It wasn't long before the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for Turkey to recognize the genocide. It's a wound that has been passed on from generation to generation. 

NERSES BEDROS XIX 
Patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church 
"For generations, we've heard of these accounts in Lebanon, Syria, Aleppo, Italy, the U.S, South America, Canada, North America, France. Wherever there is an Armenian community in the world, the genocide was talked about .” 

Even though 100 years have passed since the genocide, the Pope's remarks made it quite obvious that that chapter in history, is still very much alive, not only in Turkey and Armenia. 


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