Pope Francis has again described the mass killing of Armenians under Ottoman Turkish rule in World War One as “genocide,” the BBC reports.
He made the remarks during a visit to the Armenian capital, Yerevan. He made a similar statement last year, prompting Turkish anger.
Armenia and many historians say up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians were killed by Ottoman forces in 1915.
Turkey has always disputed that figure and rejects using the term “genocide”.
It says the deaths were part of a civil conflict triggered by WW1.
The row over characterising the killings has continued to sour relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as drawing in other countries such as Germany, whose parliament recently declared the killings to be genocide.
In an address to Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan and the diplomatic corps, the Pope said “the genocide” marked “the start of a sad series of great catastrophes of the last century”.