The word ‘genocide’ was not included in the initial text Pope Francis was to deliver at the Presidential Palace today, Director of the Holy See’s Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi told a press conference in Yerevan. He said “the Pope says what he finds appopriate, and no can decides what the Pontiff should say.”
“The Pope had no reason to avoid the word ‘genocide,’ the Vatican Spokesman said.
Pope Francis not only used the word ‘genocide’, but also described the tragedy as “the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims that darkened the minds of the tormentors even to the point of planning the annihilation of entire peoples.”
Fr. Lombardi said he can’t predict Turkey’s reaction, but added: “The Pope always speaks about peace, reconciliation and dialogue. We must remember the past to prevent new wars in the future, we must understand the lessons of the past to prevent their reoccurrence the future.”
As fo the results of the Pontiff’s first day in Armenia, Fr. Lombardi said: “The Pope is in good health and happy to be Armenia.'”
He described the joint prayer of the leaders of the two Churches at the Mother Cathedra in Etchmiadzin as a “powerful meeting.”
The Spokesman said the Pontiff was most surprised at the gift he received from the Armenian Catholicos – the Pope’s portrait 1 mm in size, which can be seen only though a microscope.