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YEREVAN. - In Yerevan Pope Francis said what he considered necessary about the Armenian Genocide, using both terms characterizing this tragedy: Mets Yeghern and Genocide.

Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, said at a briefing with local and foreign journalists Friday.

In his words, Pope Francis is free in his actions and can change the text of his speech at the last minute.

Apparently, the Pontifex decided to add the word “genocide” in his speech today. “We didn’t use this word in the Pope’s speech to ensure his freedom so that he did what he considered correct at that moment. We gave Pope a freedom to say what he wanted. He decided to say that word in Armenia,” Lombardi stressed.  

He also noted that in his speech the Pope not only used the word “genocide”, but also added a remark at the end of that sentence: he said that “that tragedy, that genocide, was the first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century.” “This characterized genocide. The superpowers were not held accountable for the horribly tragic events of the last century. He precisely noted in his speech that the Armenian Genocide was the first one in the 20th century, being followed by a number of other genocides, specifically Nazism and crimes in the Soviet period.

The word “genocide” generally reflects the reality of that horrible tragedy. We never denied it. The Pope thinks that the genocide is a deeper word. Generally, His Holiness is known for changing the texts of his speeches and adding words,” Lombardi said.

He refrained to comment on Turkey’s possible reaction to the Pope’s statement. “I can only repeat the Pope’s words. I would like to stress that the Pope always speaks about peace, reconciliation and dialogue. He has always spoken out in that spirit and will continue doing this. It is necessary to learn correct lessons from the past in order not to repeat the same mistakes,” Lombardi stressed.

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