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

“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

Random Proverb

"The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive and knows nothing." (Proverbs 9:13 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let not us who would be Christians expect anything else than to be crucified....for to be Christian is to be crucified in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally,mystically; for trough crucifixion is the only path to resurrection, if we would rise with Christ, we must be humbled with him even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.... We must be crucified outwardly in the eyes of the world, for Christ's kingdom is not of this world and world cannot bear it, even a single representative, even for the single moment.

Fr Seraphim Rose