ISTANBUL (Armenpress)–During a visit Thursday to the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul and a meeting with Archbishop Mesrob Mutafyan, Pope Benedict XVI brought up the sensitive topic of the Armenian genocide–albeit without mentioning it explicitly–CWNews.com reported In his greeting to the Patriarch, the pope praised the Armenian people for adhering to their faith, even under "truly tragic conditions, like those experienced in the past century." He was clearly alluding to the slaughter of Armenia’s under the Ottoman empire. The Armenian Apostolic Church remains the largest Christian community in Turkey, but today numbers only about 60,000; in the late 19th century the number was several million. In his remarks to Patriarch Mutafyan, the Pope expressed regret over the divisions among the Christians, repeating what he had said to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew: that these divisions are "a scandal to the world" and a handicap to effective spiritual leadership. Pope Benedict joined with the Armenian Patriarch in a prayer service at the Armenian cathedral in Istanbul.