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the first ever Genocide memorial
ANTELIAS, Lebanon – On Saturday 10 October 2009 at 6:00 o’clock in the evening, as the representatives of Armenia and Turkey and those of the international community were preparing to sign the agreement, thousands of Armenians gathered in front of the Chapel of the Martyrs at the Catholicosate in Antelias to reaffirm their demand for justice and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915.

After a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, His Holiness Aram I said: “As I stand today in front of the Chapel of Martyrs where the relics of the victims of the genocide have found their rest, and as I stand next to the mausoleum of Catholicos Sahak of Cilicia who had to leave his See (including the land, the churches and the monasteries in Sis Cilicia to find refuge in Lebanon, I cannot but share your anger and grief.”

He declared that the history of The Armenian Church and people have shown that Armenians have always responded to the challenges at decisive moments of their lives through a collective “YES” and a collective “NO”. This collective expression of the “Yes” and the “No” has always reflected the faith, vision and hope of the nation. His Holiness asserted: “The Church is the community of the faithful. It believes in people’s collective power and listens to their just demands as an expression of their collective will. Churches, governments and all human institutions are sustained by the people. The power of institutions is transient, but the power of the people is permanent.” Therefore, continued His Holiness Aram I “the Church must listen to the authority of the people empowered and guided by Gospel values, because our Lord Jesus Christ said: “Let your word be “Yes, Yes” or “No, No”; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”(Mathew 5:37). And “if you have ears then hear” (Mark 4:8). How can the Church remain silent when the world community rewards impunity instead of defending Human Rights? How can the United Nations, the defender of justice, and the signatory countries of international convenctions endorse agreements that ignore the Armenian Genocide?”

His Holiness Aram I then concluded: “the Armenian Church has been with the people and is the peoples’ church; it has identified itself with the concerns, needs and aspirations of the people. The Church cannot remain silent today when the demands for justice of our martyrs and the demands for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide of are being ignored. We say “No” to attempts that will reduce the demand to justice to placing wreathes and lighting candles.

Is there any religion, any moral authority that will deny justice, human rights and human dignity to a people and compensate impunity? It is out of this imperative that as Catholicos of Cilicia I will stand up for your collective will.”


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
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