Pope Francis caused a stir when he said that Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks. He called it the first genocide of the 20th century and then called upon the community of the world to recognize the tragedy. The Turks did not take lightly to this, claiming that he was spreading hatred.
Marcio Alaor BMG said that Francis made the comment at a meeting in St. Peter’s Basilica when he was welcoming Armenian leaders. It is reported that he wanted to make a powerful message very public about the importance of the first World War and how it has affected relationships internationally even to this day.
While many people have been murdered due to religious reasons, critics are saying that he only called attention to this tragedy due to the fact that the victims were Christians and that Muslims were the killers. They claim that he remains silent on the killing of thousands in the Middle East by Christian forces.
The Turks have accused him of spouting a different message than the one he had planned on and that Europe will not stand for propaganda favoring one faith over another. Italy has experienced genocide and they generally refer to the Turkish forces as an ally in modern language. However, the Holy See is determined to spread the word of the power of remembrance when it comes to victims of war. According to sources, he did not comment further on the incident.