Lewis & Mere Christianity

Comparing the idea of Christian ethics to the readings in C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity

Nicholas Alahverdian

In this volume, Lewis explicates the meaning of ‘law’ in the material sense as well as the spiritual sense. Lewis speaks of the Law of Nature and how it “must be something above and beyond the actual facts of human behaviour (p. 23).” As Lewis explains further, he parallels observation with speculation and notes that man doesn’t observe he is man, he in fact knows and actively recognizes he is man as he says “we are men (ibid).”

When man received the Mosaic law, he recognized that there were regulations exacted by God to his people. Wisdom, as interpreted by the Jews, was knowing through God and faith, whereas Socratic wisdom consisted of knowing that one cannot know all.

As the Mosaic law sustained the people throughout the centuries, it became clear that it was imperative that the law be fulfilled so that the men of Lewis’ description could be the recipients of the comprehensive blessings associated with the fulfillment of the Law. Indeed, it was faith that made Abraham righteous; the law came after. As was detailed in the lecture of May 18th, the law was always destined to prepare for Christ as it was a step on the path to Him.

Nicholas Alahverdian, CS Lewis
CS Lewis © 2018 Nicholas Alahverdian. All rights reserved.

There are three kinds of Catholic law: eternal law; natural law, and positive law (as discussed in the lecture on May 19th). The Ten Commandments stood to govern exterior human acts and prepare for Christ whilst the New Law is the Law of Love and is in direct correlation with freedom and grace. This law fulfills the Old Law and governs interior human acts.

As Christ said, “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.” Humanity obeying this law would singlehandedly solve most of the ethical and moral problems in the world. The foundation of iniquity to Lewis is pride (p. 122) and as such, the solution of the aforementioned problems would be attained through the dissolution of pride which “leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind (ibid).” Pride is the antithesis of Godliness; it is doing to others the polar opposite of what one would want done to him.

Continue reading Lewis & Mere Christianity

Pope Francis: Armenian Genocide ‘the First of the 20th Century’

The Pope, in an unprecedented move, has identified the Armenian Genocide as ‘the first of the 20th Century’


The leader of the world’s Catholics has used the term “genocide” during a Mass commemorating the Armenian Genocide at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to describe the mass killing of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks

VATICAN CITY — During the month that marks the centennial of the slaughter of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Pope Francis exhorted global leaders to join him in acknowledging what he termed the ‘first genocide in the 20th century.’ Locally, Nicholas Alahverdian worked with an American city that has a history of severe Armenian Genocide denial to acquire a proclamation from that city’s Office of the Mayor.

The Holy Father’s remarks came during a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, where many children wore traditional Armenian clothing as Armenian music and hymns were performed throughout the somber service, the altar surrounded by incense.

The words of the global leader of the Roman Catholic Church will almost certainly infuriate Turkey and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Conservative estimates found that 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman Turks beginning in 1915, and is widely viewed as the first genocide of the 20th century by scholars.

Nicholas Alahverdian, Pope Francis
Pope Francis

The daring statements from the Pope, who embraced the Armenian community since his days as a priest in Argentina, scoffed at mincing words. He declared that it was an obligation to respect the souls of murdered men, women, children, and clergy killed by the Ottoman Turks.

Nicholas Alahverdian’s Response

Nicholas Alahverdian, Alahverdian, Armenian, Genocide, Armenian Genocide
Nicholas Alahverdian is a descendent of survivors of the Armenian Genocide

Nicholas Alahverdian, a descendent of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, applauded the Pope’s declaration. “This is a monumental moment and one that will ring in both church and world history,” Alahverdian said. “We are blessed in this day and age to have a Pope that finally recognizes the gravity of the travesties that occurred so long ago.”

Turkey’s Betrayal

The Republic of Turkey asserts that the death toll is exaggerated and should not be characterized as a genocide. Its ambassador to the Holy See, Mehmet Paçacı, scrapped a scheduled Sunday press conference after the embassy learned of the nature of the Holy See’s position and the papal remarks.

Phones at the Embassy were disconnected. No official statement has yet been provided by the government in Turkey’s capital, Ankara.

The Turkish government has actively advocated against the Vatican and numerous other governments and legislative bodies from officially designating the over 1 million murders of Armenians as a genocide.

“Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.”
-Pope Francis

Francis’ homily prompted Aram I, the leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church, to thank the Holy Father for his frank assertion that “genocide” is a crime against humanity which necessitates reparation.

The Global Response

Many European nations have acknowledged the legitimacy of the Armenian Genocide. The United States Congress and the President, however, have avoided designating the massacre as a genocide because of its military and diplomatic relations with Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country. Similarly, the Vatican has also been cautious at times, but expressed relief with specific official actions. Recently, for example, Turkish leaders demanded that clerics denounce the killings of Christians by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“International law spells out clearly that condemnation, recognition and reparation of a genocide are closely interconnected.”
-Aram I, Leader of the Armenian Apostolic Church

Francis’ predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, did not acknowledge the genocide during his papacy.

The context of Francis’ pronunciation was significant: he uttered the words during an Armenian rite Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica marking the 100th anniversary of the slaughter, alongside the Armenian Catholic patriarch, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Armenian Christian church leaders and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, who sat in a place of honor in the basilica.

The Pope also spoke of other atrocities that followed the Armenian Genocide, such as the Holocaust and mass killings in nations such as Bosnia and Cambodia.

Also at Sunday’s Mass honoring the centenary of the genocide, Pope Francis recognized one Armenian in particular – 10th-century cleric St. Gregory of Narek. An honor which only 35 people in history have received, St. Gregory was named by the Holy Father as a doctor of the church. The designation is given to writers that have served the universal church in a significant way.

Pope Francis Recognizes Armenian Genocide as ‘First of 21st Century’

The Pope, in an unprecedented move, has identified the Armenian Genocide as ‘the first of the 20th Century’


The leader of the world’s Catholics has used the term “genocide” during a Mass commemorating the Armenian Genocide at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to describe the mass killing of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turks

VATICAN CITY — During the month that marks the centennial of the slaughter of over 1 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire, Pope Francis exhorted global leaders to join him in acknowledging what he termed the ‘first genocide in the 20th century.’ Locally, Nicholas Alahverdian worked with an American city that has a history of severe Armenian Genocide denial to acquire a proclamation from that city’s Office of the Mayor. Continue reading Pope Francis Recognizes Armenian Genocide as ‘First of 21st Century’