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Pope Francis calls Armenian massacre 'first genocide of 20th century'

Sunday, April 12, 2015 - 01:59

Pope Francis conducts holy mass marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian massacre. Nathan Frandino reports.

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A sole Armenian voice echoes through St. Peter's Basilica... its notes full of pain. As Pope Francis walks down the aisle, he's accompanied by several Armenian church leaders. They join him to mark the 100th anniversary of the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "On a number of occasions I have spoken of our time as a time of war, a third world war which is being fought piecemeal, one in which we witness on a daily basis savage crimes, brutal massacres and senseless destruction." In 1915, partisan fighting broke out in present day Turkey between the Ottoman government and Christian Armenians. Turkey says many Armenians died but denies that the violence amounted to "genocide." Pope Francis disagrees. (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) POPE FRANCIS, SAYING: "In the past century our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the 20th century', struck your own Armenian people." Turkey quickly summoned the Vatican ambassador over the pope's comments, which were published by Armenian President Serzh Sargyan's office. Francis used the occasion to urge reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.

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Pope Francis calls Armenian massacre 'first genocide of 20th century'

Sunday, April 12, 2015 - 01:59