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Vatican tried to stop Armenian genocide

VATICAN (CWN): A new book based on research in the Vatican’s secret archives shows that the apostolic delegate to Turkey, Archbishop Angelo Mario Dolci, took extraordinary measures to stop the genocidal campaign against Armenians in the early 20th century.

While acting as apostolic delegate in Constantinople, the archbishop wrote to Turkish authorities in 1915 arguing against the genocide, researcher, Valentina Karakhanian, claims.

When his pleas fell on deaf ears, the papal legate tried to rally other diplomats to defend the Armenians—and even went beyond his brief, approaching political figures and circulating private documents in an attempt to stop the campaign.

“The Vatican did what it could and in some cases what it could not, because the apostolic delegate went to meet with people who were outside the diplomatic sphere,” Karakhanian points out.

He adds that Archbishop Dolci wrote vivid reports on the genocide and Pope Benedict XV was moved to involve himself in the effort to stop it.

The book also shows that Archbishop Dolci understood the Turkish campaign that began in 1915 was a bid to rid the country not only of Armenians, but also of other Christians, including Assyrians, Chaldeans, Melkites and Maronites.

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