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2.5.13

Pope Francis on the Armenian Genocide

In 2010 Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the newly-consecrated Pope Francis I, and Argentinean Rabbi Abraham Skorka, director of the Latinamerican Seminary for Rabbis, published a book entitled On Heaven and Earth (“Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra”) that has been issued in English translation by Random House (New York, 2013). The book is a conversation between the two religious leaders that addresses topics such as family, atheists, death, capitalism, and the Holocaust.
Here are three excerpts where Pope Francis I explicitly speaks of the Armenian Genocide:
a) "On Religion": "In the twentieth century they devastated entire nations because they considered themselves gods. The Turkish did it with the Armenians, the Stalinist Communists did it with the Ukrainians, and the Nazis with the Jews. They used a discourse of divine attributes to kill people."
b) "On the Holocaust": "The great powers washed their hands of it, they looked the other way, because they knew much more than what they were saying, just like they washed their hands of the genocide of the Armenians. At that time, the Ottoman Empire was still strong, and the world was in the midst of World War I and was looking the other way."
c) "On Communism and Capitalism": "If a person doesn’t fight for their rights thinking in Paradise, he is indeed under the effects of opium (Armeniaca: in relation to Marx’s phrase, 'Religion is the opium of the people'). The people who have suffered persecution and destruction -like the three major genocides of the last century: Armenians, Jews and Ukrainians- fought for their freedom."

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