Pope: ‘Great Powers Washed their Hands During Genocide’

Pope Francis I

BUENOS AIRES—In 2010, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the newly-consecrated Pope Francis I, and Argentinean Rabbi Abraham Skorka, published a book entitled “On Heaven and Earth” (“Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra”) that was re-edited in 2013. The book addresses topics such as religion, atheists, death and the Holocaust, reported Diario Armenia reports.

In a chapter called “On religions,” Bergoglio said: “In the Twentieth Century, they razed entire villages because they considered themselves Gods. The Turks did that to the Armenians, the Nazis to the Jews. They used a discourse of divine attributes to kill men.”

In another chapter “On the Holocaust,” Bergoglio said: “The great powers washed their hands and looked the other way because they knew much more than what they said, just like they washed their hands in the Armenian Genocide. At that time the Ottoman Empire was strong, the world was in war and looked the other way”.

Finally, in the chapter called “On communism and capitalism,” Bergoglio said: “If a person doesn’t fight for their rights thinking in Paradise, he is indeed under the effects of opium (Ed: in relation to Marx’s phrase, “Religion is the opium of the people”). The people who have suffered persecution and destruction -like the three major genocides of the last century: Armenians, Jews and Ukrainians- fought for their freedom.”


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  1. Satenik said:

    Please remember your words then and don’t wash your hands like so many people and governments did and still do. Please do your best to make sure as many nations recognise the Armenian Genocide as possible. You are a powerful man and can do so much good.

  2. Tsoghig said:

    This Pope is the Pope of the people. He embodies everything that is good about religion. I hope he will be involved in our 100th Anniversary commemoration events.

  3. Vartan Matiossian said:

    It is commendable that you have rushed to publish the views of the Pope on the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately, you seem to have translated directly from Spanish without realizing that the book has just been published in English translation by Random House (a more accurate translation, by the way; for instance, where the original say “arrasaron con pueblos enteros” it should literally be “they razed [=”devastated”] entire peoples [=”nations”], not “villages”!). Therefore, your quotes do not coincide with the published translation (you may want to check two of them on Google Books for the benefit of the readers), which should be the base for any future quotation.

  4. Anton A said:

    On the contrary, “at that time” the Ottomans were NOT strong, they were Germany’s lapdogs, and they were both defeated. DEFEATED. In fact, the Germans allowed the genocide to happen in the early stages — OR, did not prevent it. However, after their defeat in the WWI there was a “treaty of Sevres” signed between the winning side, the Allied powers, and the loosing side,Turkey. That should have been it. P-E-R-I-O-D! I have yet to see a nation like Turkey which was allowed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Shame on all the nations of the allied powers that betrayed and continue to betray the Armenian people.

    • Szordin said:

      Treaty of Sevres signed by Ottoman in 1920, not Turkey. Turkey established in 1923.

      • Anton A said:

        I knew that and more, but thanks for acknowledging the fact that it was signed. Ottoman Turk, or non-Ottoman Turk, it matters not. This rationale being cooked up in the pressure cooker of Turkish psyche has been going on far too long, and will explode some day. Lets set the table anew once more: So, if a “murderer” kills while wearing a red fez and carvals one day in 1920, and somehow evades justice for the next three years, then suddenly this criminal gets caught in 1923 with blood on his hands, ONLY this time he is wearing a European-cut pants and a fedora. Is he not the same person? Yes or no! turd by any name smells just the same; what’s in a name? that which we call Turk.

  5. Gazzo said:

    The victorious Allies are the central accomplices in this crime of all crimes/genocide. Do not trust these nations, they are worse than a pack of hungry hyenas. They have the blood of the genocide in their hands. Like the Pope says, the powers washed their hands. However what the Pope said it was in 2010, when he was a cardinal. We shall wait and see if he repeats his admonition in 2015, in his status as Pope.

  6. An Armenian said:

    Did the Vatican and the Pope issue a communique on the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide?

  7. Armanen said:

    Talk is cheap. We will see how the new Pope’s policies are toward Armenia and turkey.

  8. Mabuballah said:

    Not only did the “Great Powers wash their hands”, but (as documented by then-U. S. ambassador Henry Morgenthau), in the case of Germany’s Kaiser, aided and abetted; indeed, enabled, the slaughter with his “Prussification” of the Ottoman army. In a chilling parallel to Hitler’s “master race”, the Kaiser’s regime dubbed the ethnic Turks “herrenvolk”.
    To all this, it must be added that not only the Armenians, but virtually all of the Anatolian Christian population, Greeks, Armenians, and Assyrians; constituting some 25% of the total Anatolian population, was killed off or driven out in the space of less than 15 years or so. These crimes, completed by Mustafa Ataturk by 1923, have never been addressed on the world stage — and are resisted vehemently by the Congressional Turkish lobby, the White House, and the State Department. Last, but not least, culpability must also be laid at the feet of the Turkish Ladino community, which also allows itself to be used by the Turkish state to promote Turkish aggression to this day.

  9. Arshag Kavafian said:

    Popes of the Vatican are the most corrupt politicians.
    Last year the Cardinal in charge of the Vatican Archives stated that they possess documents condem the Turks of the Armenian Genocide if they are put one to next the other will stretch to one hundred kilometers.
    Why don’t they reveal them?
    Isn’t this a sort of corruption?
    “In God’s Name” everything is justified.

  10. Alex Postallian said:

    Gods plan…..Armenians are survivors,a little defenseless nation survived the mongols wrath,and the cowards blinking,and double-talk,is proof positive,JUSTICE will prevail, for the children of GOD…