Pope Francis Condemns ‘Genocide’ of Armenians Before Visit to Memorial

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Pope Francis waded into turbulent geopolitical waters once again on Friday during his first visit to Armenia when he made an unscripted remark referring to the World War I-era massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks as a genocide.

The prepared text of his speech did not include the politically contentious word, which generally draws furious reactions from Turkey. Instead, the text opted for the more veiled Armenian expression “metz yeghern,” which translates as the “great evil.”

But in keeping with his penchant for blunt talk, the pontiff said Friday that “that tragedy” had been “a genocide” and 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.”




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