Pope Francis on Sunday described the mass killing of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians as the "first genocide of the 20th century," angering Turkey, which refuses to acknowledge the slaughter in such stark terminology.
"In the past century, our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies," the pontiff, citing a declaration from predecessor John Paul II, said at a ceremonial Mass to mark the centennial of the killings. "The first, which is widely considered 'the first genocide of the 20th century,' struck your own Armenian people."
Turkey, which continues to deny that genocide ever took place, immediately summoned a Vatican ambassador to explain the remarks.
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