In a day filled with potent ecumenical and political messages, Pope Francis Saturday called on Christians to “abandon rigid opinions” in the search for unity among their different communions and demanded the wider world not forget the lessons of the Ottoman-era killings of some 1.5 million Armenians.
The pontiff began the second day of his Friday-Sunday visit to this country with an image-rich trip to the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, the capital, alongside Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Oriental Orthodox Armenian Apostolic church.
Francis and Karekin laid a wreath before an eternal flame at the center of the memorial complex, an evocative structure of 12 several-story tall slabs arranged in a circle, before leading a solemn and haunting joint ecumenical prayer together.
“Here I pray with pain in my heart that there may never again be tragedies like this, so that humanity may never forget and may know that good wins over evil,” the pope wrote in the memorial’s guestbook.
“May God guard the memory of the Armenian people,” he added, continuing with words that may be taken as quite political: “Memory should not be watered-down or forgotten. Memory is the wellspring of peace and of the future.”
Source: National Catholic Reporter