Armenian Orthodox leader urges world to recognize WWI-era killings as genocide

The head of Armenia's Orthodox Church took part in Pope Benedict XVI's public audience on Wednesday and urged all countries to recognize that Turks committed genocide against Armenians early last century. Karekin II sat at Benedict's side during the traditional weekly audience in St. Peter's Square - part of a visit to the Vatican that is the latest high-level contact between Catholic and Orthodox leaders. Addressing a crowd of faithful assembled in the square, Karekin appealed "to all nations and lands to universally condemn all genocides that have occurred throughout history." "Denial of these crimes is an injustice that equals the commission of the same," he said. "Many countries of the world recognize and condemn the genocide committed against the Armenian people by Ottoman Turkey."