Pope Francis Makes A Strong Statement About Armenian Genocide

Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto/Rex/REX USA
It isn't very often that the names Kim Kardashian and Pope Francis come up together in conversation, but here we are.

While the Kardashian family embarks on a highly publicized tour of their ancestral homeland Armenia, Pope Francis has made a landmark statement regarding the country's often overlooked genocide. 

During a Mass at St. Peter's Basilica celebrating the Armenian Catholic rite, Pope Francis referred to the deaths of nearly 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks in the early 1900s as "the first genocide of the 20th century." 

"Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it," Francis proclaimed. Armenia's forgotten history is a huge point of contention, especially with Turkey.

The Pope's comments have already sparked a rift between the church and Turkey, who denies that the genocide ever occurred. 

"The pope's statement which is far from historic and legal truths is unacceptable," Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's Foreign Minister, said on Twitter. "Religious positions are not places where unfounded claims are made and hatred is stirred."

Francis is not backing down on his stance. The pope, who has close ties to the Armenian culture, defended his proclamation in a subsequent statement.

He called on all heads of states and international leaders to officially recognize the killings in Armenia as a genocide "without ceding to ambiguity or compromise." 

You can learn more about the Armenian genocide here.

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