CWN - Arriving in Armenia on June 24 to begin a weekend visit, Pope Francis broke from his prepared text to use the term "genocide" in a reference to the massacres of 1915.

At a meeting with Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church; and Armenia's President Serzh Sargysan, the Pope referred to the Turkish slaughter of Armenians. He 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.

 

The word "genocide" did not appear in the text of the Pope's speech that had been distributed to reporters. The government of Turkey adamantly refuses to recognize the 1.5 million Armenian deaths of 1915 as an act of genocide. Last year, when Pope Francis used the same term, an angry Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had warned him "not to repeat that mistake." Moreover, less than a week ago, the Pontiff had said that the word "genocide" should not be used in reference to the persecution of Christians today in the Middle East. Reporters were struck, therefore, by his deliberate use of the term in Armenia.

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, denied that other Vatican officials had tried to dissuade the Pope from using the word. Pope Francis, he said, had seen and approved the prepared text of his speech. However, he said, the Pope is "free to change the text." 

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Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Dormition

O Mother of God, in giving birth you preserved virginity; * and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. * You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, * and through your prayers you deliver our souls from death. (Troparion - Tone 1)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Neither the tomb nor death could detain the Mother of God, * who is unsleeping in her prayers and our unfailing hope in her intercession; * for He Who dwelt in her ever-virgin womb, * transferred to Life the Mother of Life. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live." (Proverbs 7:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, "What can get through from such snares?" Then I heard a voice saying to me, "Humility."

St. Anthony the Great