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placeholder April 6, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
Pope to declare new 'doctor of church'

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis formally will proclaim a 10th-century Armenian monk as a doctor of the church when he celebrates a liturgy April 12 with leaders and faithful of the Armenian Catholic Church.

The Vatican had announced in February the pope's decision to confer the title "doctor of the church" on St. Gregory of Narek. The title indicates that the saint's writings are considered to offer key theological insights for the faith.

Earlier, the Vatican had announced that the pope would celebrate a liturgy April 12 with members of the Armenian community, who are preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide April 24.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians — more than half the Armenian population at the time — died in a forced evacuation from their traditional territory in the Ottoman-Turkish Empire from 1915 to 1918. Turkey rejects the accusation of genocide, saying the deaths were due largely to disease and famine.

 
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