The Vatican hit back on Sunday (June 26) at Turkey’s depiction of Pope Francis as having a “crusader mentality” after he used the word genocide to describe the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians a century ago.
“The pope is on no crusade. He is not trying to organise wars or build walls but he wants to build bridges,” spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters. “He has not said a word against the Turkish people.”
Addressing Armenia’s president, the government and diplomats on Friday, Francis departed from his prepared text to use the word “genocide,” a description that infuriated Turkey when he first used it a year ago.
Turkey’s deputy prime minister Nurettin Canikli said on Saturday it was “very unfortunate” thepope had used the word, adding: “It is unfortunately possible to see all the reflections and traces of crusader mentality in the actions of the papacy and the pope.”
Francis first used the word last year in a ceremony at the Vatican. An infuriated Turkey responded by recalling its ambassador to the Vatican and keeping him away for 10 months.
This article continues at [Religion News Service] Vatican hits back at Turkey for calling pope ‘crusader’