Yerevan, Armenia, Jun 24, 2016 / 10:43 am
The catastrophe of the Armenian genocide is a lesson for all humanity, the Pope said on the first day of his visit to Armenia.
After arriving at Yerevan's Presidential Palace on Friday Pope Francis delivered remarks for Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan and other political and civil leaders. He recalled the solemnities in St. Peter's Basilica last year attended by the president and leading Armenian churchmen including Catholicos Karekin II, head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
"The occasion was the commemoration of the centenary of the Metz Yeghérn, the 'Great Evil' that struck your people and caused the death of a vast multitude of persons," the Pope said June 24. "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."
"Having seen the pernicious effects to which hatred, prejudice and the untrammeled desire for dominion led in the last century, I express my lively hope that humanity will learn from those tragic experiences the need to act with responsibility and wisdom to avoid the danger of a return to such horrors."