Independent Catholic News
April 12 2015

Pope Francis: Opening address to Armenian Christians during Mass on
Divine Mercy Sunday

Posted: Sunday, April 12, 2015 4:11 pm.

"On a number of occasions I have spoken of our time as a time of war,
a third world war which is being fought piecemeal, one in which we
daily witness savage crimes, brutal massacres and senseless
destruction. Sadly, today too we hear the muffled and forgotten cry of
so many of our defenceless brothers and sisters who, on account of
their faith in Christ or their ethnic origin, are publicly and
ruthlessly put to death - decapitated, crucified, burned alive - or
forced to leave their homeland.

Today too we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by general
and collective indifference, by the complicit silence of Cain, who
cries out: "What does it matter to me? Am I my brother's keeper?" (cf.
Gen 4:9; Homily in Redipuglia , 13 September 2014).

In the past century our human family has lived through three massive
and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered
"the first genocide of the twentieth century" (JOHN PAUL II and
KAREKIN II, Common Declaration , Etchmiadzin, 27 September 2001),
struck your own Armenian people, the first Christian nation, as well
as Catholic and Orthodox Syrians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and
Greeks.Bishops and priests, religious, women and men, the elderly and
even defenceless children and the infirm were murdered.

The remaining two were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism. And more
recently there have been other mass killings, like those in Cambodia,
Rwanda, Burundi and Bosnia.

It seems that humanity is incapable of putting a halt to the shedding
of innocent blood. It seems that the enthusiasm generated at the end
of the Second World War has dissipated and is now disappearing. It
seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes
caused by the law of terror, so that today too there are those who
attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few and with the
complicit silence of others who simply stand by. We have not yet
learned that "war is madness", "senseless slaughter" (cf. Homily in
Redipuglia , 13 September 2014).

Dear Armenian Christians, today, with hearts filled with pain but at
the same time with great hope in the risen Lord, we recall the
centenary of that tragic event, that immense and senseless slaughter
whose cruelty your forebears had to endure. It is necessary, and
indeed a duty, to honour their memory, for whenever memory fades, it
means that evil allows wounds to fester. Concealing or denying evil is
like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it!

I greet you with affection and I thank you for your witness. With
gratitude for his presence, I greet Mr Serž Sargsyan, the President of
the Republic of Armenia. My cordial greeting goes also to my brother
Patriarchs and Bishops: His Holiness Kerekin II, Supreme Patriarch and
Catholicos of All Armenians; His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the
Great House of Cilicia, His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX, Patriarch of
Cilicia of Armenian Catholics; and Catholicosates of the Armenian
Apostolic Church and the Patriarchate of the Armenian Catholic Church.

In the firm certainty that evil never comes from God, who is
infinitely good, and standing firm in faith, let us profess that
cruelty may never be considered God's work and, what is more, can find
absolutely no justification in his Holy Name. Let us continue this
celebration by fixing our gaze on Jesus Christ, risen from the dead,
victor over death and evil! "

Source: VIS