Pope in Armenia: Father Lombardi Says that the Armenian Word "Medz Yeghern” Is “Stronger” than the Term Genocide

 Translated from Italian by Vartan Matiossian

The Armenian word "Medz Yeghern" is even "stronger" than the term genocide. This is what answers Father Federico Lombardi, director of the press office of the Vatican, to the question about why there is still a certain shyness in the Vatican about using the term genocide to indicate the persecution and elimination that the Armenian people suffered in 1915. "Why -- Lombardi asked -- all this obsession to ask about this?" He added: "We know what happened. Nobody rejects that these were horrible massacres and we recognize that. But we do not want to make a trap of political debates because we go to the substance. It is an enormous tragedy."
Monsignor Antranig Ayvazian, professor of Yerevan University, attended the presentation of the apostolic trip of Pope Francis this morning.(*) He recalled that his family too was exterminated during the genocide and underscored how the term "Medz Yeghern" literally means "eradication and elimination of the entire people in blood." "The Holy See must have neutrality in the problems that may have a political folding. It has the right to be and must be neutral towards all people, even towards those who are each other's enemies, because only in that may be carrier of peace and favor coexistence among people. This is the mission of the Holy Father." At this point, Father Lombardi read a passage of the message that last year Pope Francis sent to the Armenian people: "May God grant that the road of reconciliation between the Armenian and the Turkish peoples is taken again, and peace also rise in Mountainous Karabagh. These are people who in the past, despite oppositions and tensions, have seen cases of solidarity and mutual help. Only with this spirit the new generations may open themselves to a better future and the sacrifice of many may become seed of justice and peace." It will be significant, therefore, in this sense, for the peace in Mountainous Karabagh and between Armenia and Turkey the release of two doves at the monastery of Khor Virap, very close to the Turkish border and at the foot of Mount Ararat.

Servizio Informazione Religiosa (agensir.it), June 21, 2016

(*) Pope Francis will visit Armenia from June 24-26 ("Armeniaca").

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