Pope’s Silence on Armenian Genocide Shameful
ABC News | Dec. 1, 2006 | MARK GERAGOS
After an initial foray into interfaith relations by inciting almost 2 billion Muslims with ill-advised references to the legacy of their prophet Mohammed, Pope Benedict XVI leaves Turkey with the press hailing the visit a success.
Much like the war in Iraq, however, defining the simple concept of "success" has become increasingly like declaring "mission accomplished." Case in point, the pope’s recent visit to Turkey.
Following the pontiff’s gaffe heard ’round the Muslim world, the fact that larger protests and riots didn’t accompany his visit to Turkey must have certainly elicited a collective sigh of relief from the Vatican and tempted many prognosticators to proclaim the trip a success.
Perhaps prompted by a sense of relief and joy at not being embarrassed by a rancorous reception upon his arrival to Turkey, the pontiff even took time to don his political advisor cap and stump for Turkey’s admission into the European Union.
Fortunately, the more discerning European nations see that issue in a slightly different light and are waiting for Turkey to adopt something other than medieval standards of justice before setting out the welcome mat.
Still, as the leading spiritual figure for Christians around the world, much more is expected and required of the pope.
After all was said and done, and as the cameras rolled and the press jockeyed to capture and transmit images of the pope being led on a tour of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque by local Islamic and Christian leaders, the press failed to capture the big, fat, noisy elephant parked squarely amidst this assemblage - Turkey’s ongoing legacy of intolerance and oppression.
For too long, the various Christian and other minorities of Turkey have silently suffered the suppression of their rights and the deliberate erosion of their collective memories through the state sponsored destruction of ancient churches and other historical monuments dating back almost two millennia.
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