Remembering Armenian Suffering

Pope Francis looks on after greeting Armenian Catholic Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni during Mass marking 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide

In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis decried on April 9 humanity’s ability to systematically exterminate its own brothers and sisters. He asked that God’s mercy “help all of us, in the love for the truth and justice, to heal every wound and expedite concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace among nations that still are unable to come to a reasonable consensus on interpreting such sad events.” The pope’s remarks came during a meeting at the Vatican with a group of bishops from the Armenian Catholic Synod. April 24 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. An estimated 1.5 million Armenians—more than half the Armenian population at the time—died in a forced evacuation from their traditional territory in the Ottoman-Turkish Empire between 1915 and 1918. Turkey rejects the accusation of genocide, saying the deaths were due largely to disease and famine. Pope Francis noted “with sadness” how those who survived the forced expulsions 100 years ago fled to neighboring regions, which today are seeing their Christian presence put in danger once again.

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