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Vatican spokesman on Armenian Genocide: Let's not get trapped in a social-political discussion

2016-06-21

The Vatican spokesman was to the point and direct with those who mutter, in the proximity of the trip to Armenia, no one in the Holy See pronounces the word "genocide” to not irritate Turkey.

FR. FEDERICO LOMBARDI 
Vatican spokesman
"We know what happened. None of us denies these horrible massacres. We will visit the monument to remember. What we do not want is to make this a dead-end on social-political discussion because we want to go to the point.”

The spokesman explained that the aim of the trip is to promote reconciliation and also mentioned some Turkish citizens who hid Armenians in their homes during the persecutions.

Pope Francis will travel to Armenia from June 24-26th. Nobody denies that this is a delicate international event since Turkey officially denies committing genocide. Pope Francis made his discomfort clear when he celebrated a Mass in 2015 to mark the centenary of the slaughter.

FR. ANTRANING AYVAZIAN
Armenian Catholic Church of Syria
"That mass celebrated by the Pope in St. Peter's was significant. It was of symbolic gesture to see all of the people and the State to join in memory of the genocide.”

Father Antraning Ayvazian is a descendant of Armenians. He recognizes the value that the Pope's gesture made. He notes that he is one of the few leaders who have raised their voices to cry out for the first great slaughter of human beings of the twentieth century.

FR. ANTRANING AYVAZIAN
Armenian Catholic Church of Syria
"If you come to Syria, especially in my region, even today, after 101 years, you can dig up two centimeters and will find human bones. An infinite amount of them. After 101 years. This is sad.”

The Vatican says that the Pope's next international meeting has two objectives: to strengthen a friendship with the Armenian Apostolic Church and promote peace with neighboring countries, Turkey, Georgia and especially Azerbaijan. Pope Francis, in fact, will visit the latter two countries at the end of September.


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