Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for the Armenian Genocide Centennial on 2015 -
Prensa Armenia - Pope Francis will celebrate Mass for the Armenian Genocide centennial in the Basilica of San Pedro on April 12, 2015, as announced by the Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires Mario Poli during a mass in the Armenian Catholic Parish of Our Lady of Narek on Sunday 17th August.
"The Pope replied to the invitation from the Armenian Catholic Church a year ago through the Patriarch Nerses Bedros XIX to celebrate a mass for the recognition of the Genocide," stated the pastor of Narek, Pablo Hakimian, when asked by Prensa Armenia.
During the meeting with the Patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmourini in June last year, Francisco also received the daughter of a surviving family of the Armenian genocide, he heard her, took her hand and said: "It was the first genocide of the twentieth century." This gesture draw criticism from Turkey, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement considering that "the expressions of Pope Francis are absolutely unacceptable."
Pope Francis has described the World War I-era deaths of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide on at least one occasion in the past, when he was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Speaking in 2006, he also urged Turkey to acknowledge the genocide.
The late Pope John Paul II called the slaughter of Ottoman Armenians “the first genocide of the 20th century” when he visited Armenia in 2001. But his successor Benedict XVI, who resigned in March, refrained from using the word genocide with respect to the 1915 massacres.