Pope Francis’s Visit to Armenia: A Bridge Out of Isolation

On the Pope’s visit in Armenia.

Public Orthodoxy

by Yelena Ambartsumian

Ahead of Pope Francis’s recent visit to Armenia (June 24-26), there was much speculation as to whether he would again use the word “genocide” in reference to the massacres of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915. The prepared remarks, released by the Vatican, appeared to omit that politically charged designation—instead opting for words such as “tragedy,” “slaughter,” and “immense suffering.” Nevertheless, once in Armenia, Pope Francis departed from the prepared text and said, “Sadly, that tragedy, that genocide, 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.”

Turkey responded by suggesting that Pope Francis and his Papacy possess “all the reflections and traces of [a] crusader mentality.” Last year, after Pope Francis…

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