Aro Hovsepyan

Some Popes Are More Christian than Others

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By Aro Hovsepyan

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

I want to emphasize that, although I was born and raised Catholic, I am no longer one.

It is often heard that Pope Pius XII, colloquially known as Pope Pacelli did not do enough to save Jews and Gypsies during World War II from Nazi persecution.

In my humble opinion, Pope Francis, or Pope Bergoglio, is even more complicit in the ongoing genocide of the Armenian people in Nagorno-Karabakh, historically known as Artsakh by the Armenians.

First and foremost, the Vatican’s silence regarding the ongoing genocide siege is deafening. Pope Bergoglio, who never misses an opportunity to denounce all forms of racism and discrimination against Muslims, has never raised his voice against the Azerbaijani dictator Aliyev or the crimes committed by his regime against Armenian Christians.

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Pope Bergoglio doesn’t have the excuses Pope Pacelli had. Pacelli grew up in an era when being Jewish amounted, according to ecclesiastical doctrine, to complicity in deicide. Moreover, he feared communism and, having served as a nuncio in Germany, overestimated the ethics of German “Kultur.”

Does Bergoglio have similar excuses? Absolutely not! Born and raised in Argentina, he knows very well that Armenians are not an exotic mountain people as many Westerners wrongly believe. He knows that Armenians are hardworking, honest individuals with a deep Christian faith.

So, what explains his silence? Does he fear jeopardizing the Vatican’s access to generous donations by Aliyev and the Azerbaijani First Lady? Does he fear jeopardizing his friendship to Islamic despots? Or perhaps, more trivially, does he not feel like raising his voice to denounce a humanitarian catastrophe that doesn’t earn the same kudos as his crusade in support of immigrant-boat landings in Southern Europe?

Whatever the reason, the lack of good faith in the Curia of Bergoglio is undeniable. Please read this Catholic news report, which tries to present Cardinal Parolin’s mission to Baku and Yerevan as a paragon of discreet humanitarian diplomacy.

The hypocrisy is evident. Just take a look at the itinerary of His Eminence’s trip to understand that his efforts are primarily aimed at appeasing Aliyev and his associates. There is no other explanation for Cardinal Parolin choosing to visit Baku before Yerevan.

A true friend of the Armenians and a Christian worthy of the name would have visited Armenia first, seen the suffering of his Christian brethren, and then expressed indignation and outrage toward the Vatican’s ally Ilham Aliyev. By choosing to visit Baku first, Cardinal Parolin reveals that rather than an honest mediator, he is the courier of worthless Azerbaijani reassurances to the Armenian people.

Shame on Pope Francis! As the great Martin Luther King once said: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

(Aro Hovsepyan is a graduate of McGill University and the London School of Economics, and now lives in Colorado.)

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