ARAM I speaks of Armenian Genocide at WCC
YEREVAN (YERKIR) – In his report to the Central Committee of the World
Council of Churches (WCC), which meets once a year, His Holiness Aram
I referring to the Armenian Genocide, said: “This year my church and
people will commemorate the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide. During the First World War in 1915, one-and-a-half million
Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman-Turkish government according
to a well-devised and systematically executed plan.
Although my generation did not directly experience the tragic past,
the Armenian Genocide has had a strong impact on our spiritual and
intellectual formation. The past haunts the victims; we cannot free
ourselves from the past unless that past is duly recognized”.
This reference was made in the context of His Holiness’ analysis of
the question of forgiveness and reconciliation. He said: “The
acceptance of truth is the sine qua non condition for forgiveness. The
past must be confronted boldly and be challenged responsibly.
Neglecting the past with its wounds will not help to build a new
future. When the memories are not healed, they hold us hostage to the
past; when they are healed, through confession and forgiveness, they
empower us to rebuild relationships, promote mutual trust and
acceptance, and engage in a processof transformation. Unhealed
memories cause violence, hate and fragmentation.
Forgiveness, as a response to confession, is a determining factor in
the healing and reconciliation process. Through forgiveness, we accept
each other in truth and justice. Forgiveness is costly; only
confession must lead to forgiveness, which is a pre-condition for real
healing and reconciliation”.