Pope Francis plans to visit Armenia in late June

Although no date has been set, a Vatican spokesman confirmed Pope Francis is considering a trip to Armenia during the second half of June, a year after causing a diplomatic incident by calling the Ottoman-era slaughter of Armenians in the early 1900s a genocide.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pope’s itinerary hasn’t been finalized because organizers are still reviewing possible stops during the visit.

Italian media is reporting that the trip will occur June 22-26, but Lombardi said no dates have been set.

Francis first floated the possibility of a visit to Armenia during his return flight from his November visit to Africa, when he said he had promised the three Armenian patriarchs that he would go. “The promise has been made,” he said. “I don’t know if it will be possible, but I did promise.”

A few months before, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Eastern Churches, had raised the possibility of a papal visit during his own trip to Armenia, saying that the pontiff “wishes with all of his heart to go to Armenia,” and that he’d already received an invitation from Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.

Last year, Francis sparked a diplomatic incident with Turkey by celebrating a Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian slaughter by the Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I and defining the massacre as the “first genocide of the 20th century.”

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