EUROPE/ARMENIA - Maronite Patriarch: they avoid naming the Armenian genocide for fear of legal consequences

Friday, 24 April 2015

Yerevan (Agenzia Fides) - "After one hundred years, the international community is looking for a definition for the Armenian Genocide and is afraid to call it genocide because they fear the legal consequences". This is how the Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Rai, explained the reluctance of nations and international organizations to use the word genocide to describe the planned massacres of Armenians which took place in Anatolia in 1915. The statements of Patriarch Rai were released in Yerevan, where the Primate of the Maronite Church is taking part in the official commemorations of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
Without specifically mentioning Turkey – which exercises diplomatic pressure at all levels and in all directions in order to avoid the definition of the Armenian Genocide to be used by political and religious leaders, the political institutions of individual nations and international bodies – the Maronite Patriarch reiterated the urgent need to recognize the Armenian Genocide "to avoid a repeat of other Genocides". If the international community does not recognize the Armenian Genocide, warned Cardinal Rai, "other Genocides will be committed". While "no Genocide, attack or massacre can be justified on economic grounds".
The official celebrations underway in Yerevan are being attended, in addition to Patriarch Rai, also by the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II. The Holy See delegation is led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 24/04/2015)