Pope Francis Plans to Visit Armenia in April to Commemorate 101st Armenian Genocide Anniversary

By Danielle Saroyan

Armenian Agenda Associate Editor

Pope Francis
will possibly visit Armenia in April 2016 for the 101st anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide, World Religion News reports.

Pope
Francis’ 2016 travel schedule was publicized last week and includes confirmed
plans to visit Mexico for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Poland for
World Youth Day in 2016. The trip to Armenia is planned, but has not yet been
confirmed.

Last
November, the Armenian Agenda was
first to report that Pope Francis stated his desire to visit Armenia during an
hour-long news conference aboard the papal plane at the end of a six-day trip
to Africa. Pope Francis admits, “I am old and these trips are heavy,” which may
prevent travels to Armenia in 2016.

The Vatican
has a long history of involvement in and good relations with Armenia.
At the beginning of last week, Papal Nuncio Gabriel Katchea delivered a letter
from Pope Francis to His Holiness Aram I, the Catholicos of the Great House of
Cilicia, on the occasion of Armenian Christmas. His Holiness Aram I expressed
gratitude to the Vatican and Pope Francis for this letter, as well as the full
support to Armenians on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Pope Francis
held a mass on April 12, 2015 in honor of the victims of the Armenian Genocide
and called on heads of state to condemn the actions which led to the killing of
1.5 million Armenians in 1915. During the mass, Pope Francis identified the
Armenian killings
as “the first genocide of the 20th century.” He said, “concealing
or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging
it.”

About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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