Vatican City, 3 February 2016 (VIS) – This morning, at the conclusion of the General Audience, Rinaldo Marmara presented to Pope Francis a copy of his book "La Squadra Pontificia ai Dardanelli 1657 / Ilk Canakkale Zaferі 1657". This volume is an Italian and Turkish transliteration of a manuscript from the Chigi collection of the Vatican Apostolic Library that is an account of the papal fleet that participated in the Second Battle of the Dardanelles in 1657. During a presentation of the book last evening, the author stated that his objective was to make important archival material from the Vatican Archives and Vatican Library accessible to Turkish historians and researchers. The book, notwithstanding the painful memories of history, illustrates the importance of scholarly research and opening up archives to historical investigation in the service of truth and building bridges of cooperation and mutual understanding.
In light of this, the repeated commitment of Turkey to make its archives available to historians and researchers of interested parties in order to arrive jointly at a better understanding of historical events and the pain and suffering endured by all parties, regardless of their religious or ethnic identity, caught up in war and conflict, including the tragic events of 1915, is noted and appreciated. The painful events of history should not be forgotten; instead they require careful examination and reflection so that they may lead to the healing and purification of memory so necessary for reconciliation and forgiveness for individuals and peoples, as St. John Paul II affirmed.
The memory of the suffering and pain of both the distant and the more recent past, as in the case of the assassination of Taha Carım, Ambassador of Turkey to the Holy See, in June 1977, at the hands of a terrorist group, urges us also to acknowledge the suffering of the present and to condemn all acts of violence and terrorism, which continue to cause victims today.
Particularly heinous and offensive is violence and terrorism committed in the name of God or religion. As His Holiness Pope Francis stated during his visit to the Central African Republic: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters. … Together, we must say no to hatred, no to revenge and no to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself". May these words inspire all people of goodwill to remember and affirm their brotherhood, solidarity, compassion and shared humanity and to reiterate their common stand against all violence.