“The Pope’s visit to Armenia will bring a message of peace to the whole region of South Caucasus still suffering from deadly military provocations by Azerbaijan and anti-Armenian hate and intolerance dominating in that county,” member of the Armenian delegation to PACE said, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly today. The full text of th speech is provided below:
Pope Francis will be visiting Armenia in four days. He has asked the faithful to pray for his upcoming visit to Armenia. Let me quote His Holiness “I ask you to pray for me, who in a few days will go as a pilgrim to an eastern land, Armenia, the first among Nations to receive the Gospel of Jesus”. Pope Francis’s visit is to come to mark the brilliantly unique relations between Armenia and the Holy See and the excellence of cooperation between the two of ancient churches – Church of Rome and the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Christianity has been a cornerstone of Armenian national identity throughout our long journey into history: Armenians have made an exceptional and invaluable contribution to the unity of Christ disciples while millions of Armenians have been martyred and shed their blood for Christ. The blood of martyrs, however, became a seed for renewed faith, passion, commitment and unity and Armenia and millions of Armenians world over will greet Pope Francis in Yerevan, Saint Etchmiadzin and Gyumri with a reborn and progressing statehood, strong commitment to peace, renewed love to others and enlightened souls praying for all children of Christ in any corner of the Globe.
Pope Francis will visit Tsitsernakaberd, a Memorial in Yerevan dedicated to the remembrance of 1.5 millions of saint martyrs of Armenian Genocide who were killed in Ottoman Turkey simply because they were different; they were Armenians; they were Christians. Pope Francis’s visit to the Genocide Memorial will become a big question mark to the unwise and increasingly dangerous policy of denial by Erdogan’s Turkey. This visit will re-deliver His Holiness’ precept that “concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.” Life threatening, blackmailing, Nazi-style calls for analyzing the “blood purity” of all those parliamentarians of German Bundestag who courageously voted for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, President Erdogan’s statement about the possibility of deporting of all ethnic Armenians still living in Turkey are a dangerous alarm reminding the international community to keep its ears open towards Pope Francis’ precept.
His Holiness’ visit to Armenia will bring also a message of peace to the whole region of South Caucasus still suffering from deadly military provocations by Azerbaijan and anti-Armenian hate and intolerance dominating in that country. While Presidents of Armenia and Russia, are trying to deliver the opinion of the international community and explaining President Aliev right now in Saint-Petersburg that war is an option for Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, I hope that the ordinary people of Azerbaijan, including our beautiful colleague Pashaeva, will keep their ears open to the voice of Pope Francis and millions of faithful human beings in Armenia praying for peace, hope and love in the coming days to listen a simple message that ‘darkness cannot drive out darkness and hate cannot drive out hate.’