For Greater Glory…For Christ the King

greatglory

Imagine needing the grace of the confessional yet unable to find a priest.  Imagine being unable to find a priest to baptize your baby or to witness your marriage.  Imagine a country without confirmations or ordinations.    Imagine longing to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but having no Mass at which to assist.  Indeed, Mass is not simply unavailable, it is against the law.

If you can imagine this nightmare, then you will have some sense of the profound evil that gripped Mexico just a century ago.  In 1910, Marxist and Masonic revolutionaries declared war on Mexico, seized control of the government, and, seven years later, drafted a socialist constitution packed with anticlerical laws the intent of which was to drive the Catholic Church from Mexican soil.  Catholic priests lost their legal identity and were forbidden to express their political opinions, even in private.  Church property was confiscated. Clerical attire in public was outlawed.  Foreign clergy were deported.

Throughout Mexico’s 31 states, these laws were unevenly enforced until the introduction in 1926 of the “Calles Law.”  Named for Mexico’s ruthlessly anti-Catholic president, Plutarco Calles, the law added teeth to the Mexican penal code and threatened government officials with severe fines and sentences should they fail to enforce the anticlerical articles of the 1917 Constitution.  The persecution of the Church grew more intense and widespread.  Churches were desecrated, nuns outraged, and priests unwilling to submit to state governments’ clerical-quota registers were hunted down and executed.

A nonviolent reaction by the faithful was led by Anacleto Gonzales Flores’ Union Popular and by Capistran Garza’s National League for the Defense of Religious Liberty.  As petitions, boycotts, and street demonstrations went ignored, however, a military solution sprang forth in Mexico’s western central states: Zacatecas, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Durango, Michoacán, and Colima. Individual platoons of rancheros, sharecroppers, and land-owning peasants eventually united into a powerful Catholic army that went on to defeat federal forces in large campaigns on the plains of Jalisco and in guerilla operations in the mountains of Durango.  The Catholics erected alternative local governments in the villages and regions they liberated.  Steadily the Catholic soldiers—the Cristeros, as they came to be called—inspired by Pope Pius XI’s encyclical, Quas Primas, began to reconquer Mexico for Christ the King.

United under the command of General Enrique Gorostieta, who had earlier distinguished himself while fighting with Huerta against Zapata, the Cristeros were winning their war for the soul of Mexico until a complex negotiation involving the Holy See, the Mexican Episcopal Committee, the Mexican Government, and brokered by the United States Department of State, brought an inconclusive end to the war.  The Cristeros, who were never invited to the bargaining table, were asked to put down their arms, and, in obedience to the Church, this they did.  Promised amnesty, Cristero soldiers were instead hunted down and executed as late as the 1950s when Mexico’s persecution of the Church flared again.

Never heard this story?

Neither have most Mexicans.

Mexican schoolchildren, to the extent that they know the story of the Cristeros, know only the Marxist spin. Well into the 1970s, Catholic schools endured regular inspections to ensure use of government textbooks.  In the public schools teachers took an oath to teach against the Catholic Church.

It wasn’t until the 1980s before the anticlerical articles were repealed.  (Indeed, when Blessed John Paul II visited Mexico in his white cassock he was breaking the law!)  Not until the late 1990s, with the beatifications and canonizations of the martyrs of the Mexican Revolution by John Paul II and, in 2005, by Benedict XVI, did a sympathetic public awareness of the Cristeros resurface.

Today, thanks to first-time director Dean Wright, the story of the Cristero War can be well known throughout Mexico and the United States.  For Greater Glory, which opened on June 1, is a spectacular, big-budget production, shot in Mexico, starring Andy Garcia as General Enrique Gorostieta.  Part sweeping John Ford, part gritty Sergio Leone, For Greater Glory delivers in two-and-a-half hours a sometimes breathtaking, sometimes tear-jerking, and in-the-main, an accurate account of what was nothing less than a crusade in defense of the Catholic Faith just south of our border.

Garcia as Gorostieta is convincing as a retired battlefield hero reduced at the beginning of the film to helming a Monterrey soap factory.  His life is comfortable, but he clearly misses the whiff of another kind of powder.  Reading at his desk a headline of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight, he feels emasculated.

(The headline selection must be deliberate on director Wright’s part, for it was Lucky Lindy’s father-in-law, J.P. Morgan banker Dwight Morrow, well played, with just a hint of the sinister, by Bruce Greenwood, who imposes the will of American empire on events.)

Like the actual Gorostieta, Garcia’s is a nonbeliever motivated by a high paycheck and the thrill of combat.  He nonetheless develops a sympathy and respect for his Cristero soldiers and the Faith that inspires their actions.  Wright’s film probably takes some historical license with a possible conversion story.  Nonetheless the real Gorostieta, like the Garcia version, did hold that a nation without freedom of worship would suffer moral decay.

The film somewhat overplays this religious-freedom angle.  Gorostieta’s wife, ably played by Eva Longoria, asks how he can fight for a cause in which he does not believe.  He replies that he believes in religious freedom.  Later he delivers to his troops the same kind of anachronistic speeches that mar Mel Gibson epics.  “Freedom is our lives!” he declares, and at one point he proclaims that the Cristeros will not stop fighting until they have a democratically elected government.  Well, the fact is that democracy was doubtless part of the problem in early twentieth-century Mexico.  Indeed, as Rubén Blades, in one of the film’s stronger performances as Plutarco Calles, points out in a fictionalized meeting between the general and the president, the people of Mexico did vote him into office.

The religious freedom theme has served the marketers of the picture well given the growing number of Catholics reacting to the Obama Administration’s mandate that Catholic institutions offer contraceptive coverage for their employees.  The difficulty with making too much of religious freedom when telling the story of La Cristiada—as the Cristero War came to be called—is that the Cristeros in the field, surely to the man, were not fighting for religious freedom.  They were fighting for the political and social kingship of Jesus Christ.

Religious freedom can be a good, but it is not an absolute good, and the “absolute freedom” that Garcia defends as General Gorostieta (and in media interviews as well) is problematic outside the context of Christianity.

It was the Catholic Faith, the Seven Sacraments, the Mass, Christ the King, and Our Lady of Guadalupe, for which the Cristeros took up arms.  Their battle cry was “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” or “Long live Christ the King,” not “Religious Freedom for all!”  The martyrs in the Circus of Nero did not die for religious freedom, and neither did the Cristeros.

Fortunately, Dean Wright’s picture, its periodic dips into the politically didactic notwithstanding, makes clear the motives in the hearts of the Cristeros.  Abundant use of sacramental’s (especially St. Benedict Crucifixes), faithfully staged liturgies, emphasis on the merits of Confession, and beautifully shot urban scenes revealing the glory of colonial, in other words, Spanish Catholic Mexico, underscore an atmosphere suffused with Catholic devotion.  Male viewers will find themselves longing to mount up rifle in hand with the Cristero cavalry; ladies will be inspired by the accurate portrayal of the courageous young women of the Feminine Brigades of Saint Joan of Arc (regrettably not named in the film) who, at great personal risk, kept the Cristeros supplied with ammunition and provisions, tended their wounded, and couriered tactical and strategic intelligence.

The film’s treatment of the American involvement in the war is remarkably faithful to history, but for a miscasting of the rotund Bruce McGill as Calvin Coolidge.  Bruce Greenwood’s Dwight Morrow is the man whose diplomatic skill at last brings an end to the fighting, but his and his president’s motives could not be clearer: internecine strife in Mexico is bad for American oil business.

America’s explicit support of the Mexican federal army against the Catholic soldiers is not sugarcoated in the film, and we learn that America supplied warplanes to the Calles administration.  (In fact, though not mentioned in the film, American pilots flew air support against the Cristeros in at least one battle.)

Knights of Columbus will be proud to hear their organization named in the film as a source of pressure on the Coolidge administration to seek a resolution to the war.  This they did.  And it is heartening to see Supreme Knight Carl Anderson listed as an executive producer of a film that so unequivocally supports the armed uprising, given that the Knights’ involvement at the time of the war was somewhat different.

While it is true that American Knights raised one million dollars, these funds were deliberately not given to the Cristero army.  Supreme Knight Flaherty, reported the New York Times of November 6, 1926, was publicly explicit that the money was to aid exiled Mexican priests and religious and to support a propaganda campaign on both sides of the border.  He added that the Knights in America were definitely not helping to support an armed rebellion in Mexico.  Of course, the position of the Knights was little different from that of most of the American Episcopacy who were unwilling to support an armed rebellion against a (Marxist) government that enjoyed full diplomatic recognition of the United States.  “Iron Mike” Curley of Baltimore and Francis Kelly of Oklahoma were two notable exceptions.

Was the armed uprising moral?  Dean Wright’s conclusion must be yes, so sympathetically does he portray the Cristeros.  But observers then and now were and are less certain.  Pope Pius XI was never clear.  Rueben Quezada, who has written a fine summary of the conflict for Ignatius Press, recently stated in an interview with National Catholic Register Radio that he believes that the Cristeros’ action did not meet the criteria for just war.

I believe, however, that the revolt was justified because Plutarco Calles, by his tyranny, had lost his claim to rule.  According to Bellarmine and Suarez, in such a case, sovereignty reverts to the people in whom it always dwells. (Cf. Right and Reason Austin Fagothey, chapter 30.)

It is true that the Cristeros—and Wright does not hide this—did cross the ius in bello line.  Vengeance inspired a brutal train robbery in which civilians were killed.  Moreover, one of the film’s heroes is a bandoleer wearing, pistol-packing priest, Father Reyes Vega played by Santiago Cabrera.  St. Thomas is explicit that priests should not bear arms, and the sympathetic portrayal of Vega, who in real life seems to have been a gunslinger in more ways than one, is morally problematic.  Another partial whitewash is Oscar Isaac’s “El Catorce”, so called because he singlehandedly killed fourteen federal soldiers.  The real El Catorce, Victoriano Ramirez, killed fourteen guards escaping from a jail where he was awaiting a murder trial.

Some closing thoughts.  Eduardo Verástegui is underused in the role of Blessed Anacleto Gonzales Flores.  Peter O’Toole as Father Christopher does well setting in motion the theme of redemption that leavens and anchors the film.  Like the best things in Christianity, the redemption begins with a small act of charity, in this case, forgiveness.

Newcomer Mauricio Kuri as the boy martyr Jose Sanchez del Rio, starts off the picture perhaps too cute but develops well to the point that we believe his courage and devotion in the face of a diabolically brutal death.

Costuming and sets have been obviously and meticulously inspired by the abundant photographic record of the war.  Indeed, one of the picture’s minor heroes is a martyred photographer.  Stay seated for the final credits for a slideshow of some of these images.  The score, alas, is heavy handed and emotional, no surprise from the pen of Titanic scorer James Horner.

Finally, the R-rating is wholly undeserved.  I polled folks leaving the theater and not one thought it deserved an R-rating.  It makes one wonder whose side the MPAA is on.

Well, not really.

I think we know, and it’s not the side of Christ the King.  All the more reason to go see this picture, which is nothing less than a gem in the mire of Hollywood.

Christopher Check

By

Christopher Check is Director of Development at Catholic Answers. A graduate of Rice University, for nearly two decades he served as vice president of The Rockford Institute, publisher of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. Before that he served for seven years as a field artillery officer in the Marine Corps, attaining the grade of captain. His recorded lectures on church history are available from Angelus Press. He and his wife, Jacqueline, have four sons. The Checks show and breed Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, famed companions of the Stuart kings, under the kennel name Top Meadow Cavaliers, named for G.K. Chesterton’s Beaconsfield estate.

  • Theoscarman

    A movie all Catholics need to see. Unbelievable that this sort of government war against religion was kept so quite for so long. The question that came up after the movie was , “Are we seeing shades of anti-clerical and anti-Christian here in the United States?” A question worth asking.

  • Jack Isaacks

    One tidbit a lot of people misunderstand.

    Some people, including so-called traditionalist blogs and publications, talk about “atheistic Masons.” This is incorrect. A man must believe in some kind of deity to join the Masons. Indeed, Masons from the first degree of Entered Apprentice are forbidden to initiate a known atheist into Masonry.

    • Shirley

      The rank and file may have to believe in some kind of “deity” to join but the fundamental objective is just that – belief in any god/deity negates the One God and is therefore atheistic.

  • Robert

    I’ve  seen this great movie & an excellant documentary about the movie.  I’m still puzzled as to why the Cristeros laid down their arms, which permitted the Govt. to slaughter the leadership by the thousands.  This was alluded to in the movie, but was pointed out in the Documentary.  Sounds like our state department did the negotiating of the so called peace treaty.  Anyone know the WHY??

    • Christopher Check

      Robert,

      I treat the questions surrounding the Cristeros surrender in my CD.  In brief, Pius XI sought to restore the sacraments to the faithful even if the conditions under which they were to be dispensed were trying.  He probably was not well advised by the Mexican Episcopal Committee.  Our State Department did manage the agreement.  One thing the picture does not make clear is that the arreglos did not bring piece to the Church in Mexico.  THe Mexican Government did not honor its agreement to restore property and in the early 30′s the persecutions were ramped up again.  Greene’s POWER AND THE GLORY is, in fact, set, after the Cristero War.

      Peace and Good.

      Chris

  • http://www.frankrega.com/ Frank Rega

      The article correctly states: “The martyrs in the Circus of Nero did not die for religious freedom, and neither did the Cristeros.”  And also: “The martyrs in the Circus of Nero did not die for religious freedom, and neither did the Cristeros.”  It is important to emphasize these truths, since Vatican II revisionists, including the top heirarchy, are trying to reinterpret history to say that these martyrs for Christ also died for religious freedom.
      Pope Benedict explained it this way in 2005: “The martyrs of the early Church died for their faith in that God who was revealed in Jesus Christ, and for this very reason they also died for freedom of conscience and the freedom to profess one’s own faith – a profession that no State can impose but which, instead, can only be claimed with God’s grace in freedom of conscience.”  I see this as an attempt to justify the change to Traditional Catholic doctrine when Dignitatis Humanae affirmed that
    any and all religions must be allowed by the State to profess and propogate their beliefs publicly.

  • wilson

    The Masonic cesspool that is government in Mexico won the day aided by the intrigues of the Masonic United States government as far back as 1823, when the openly Catholic Mexican Empire was overthrown and His Ex. Iturbide was murdered.  Never a truly Catholic guided government there since then. 
       This motion-picture, like the Gibson “Passion of Christ”, is almost a whitewash; but it is far better than the pre-existing nothing.  The Cristeros were mainly betrayed by the Mexican hierarchy.

    • Victress Jenkins

      The hierarchy was very gullible as to believe the government would keep its promise. It seems as if history keeps repeating itself and no one is paying attention.

  • Chris

    Interesting article. Mostly true. A few additions or corrections might be worthwhile:

    1) General Gorostieta was himself a Mason, though a pragmatic one. He thought Calles had gone too far. His portrayal as someone who upholds freedom of religion is probably a bit overwrought. What Gorostieta wanted was money and (he hoped) political power for himself. He saw the Cristeros as a means to that end, and he had to support their freedom of worship if he hoped to ride them to power. What he might have done had he ever seized power is anyone’s guess. Perhaps he would have remained pragmatic, like Lazaro Cardenas who ended the worst of the anti-Catholic excesses during his presidency, beginning in 1934 (notwithstanding that they flared up again later) . But Mexican history is full of characters who shift alliances when they feel they must. It might be just as likely that Gorostieta would have enforced the Calles Law himself had he been able to seize power.

    2) Democracy was most certainly not in any kind of force in Mexico until the latter part of the 20th century, when the opposition National Action Party (PAN) managed to win some state and local races in northern Mexico. Calles almost certainly was not voted into power by anything resembling a majority. Active voter suppression and outright fraud were common in Mexico up through the 1992 presidential elections. Martin Luis Guzman writes in La Sombra del Caudillo of the political pressures executed by an unnamed Mexican Revolutionary leader — presumably Calles’s predecessor Alvaro Obregon — and the pressure exerted even on the leader’s friends to force them to support the leadership. In one scene, the unnamed leader’s thugs kidnap the main character and force-feed him bottles (plural) of Tequila through a funnel. After this, they throw him out of the car he is riding in the middle of nowhere and leave him for dead. The main character had been the unnamed leader’s friend at one point. And the real Martin Luis Guzman had to leave Mexico after publication of the book out of fear that Obregon would get after him. Calles had been Obregon’s underling during the Revolution. The two had a deal wherein Calles would assume the presidency in 1924 after Obregon’s 4 years were up — and then Obregon would step back into the presidency after Calles was done. Hardly the stuff of democracy. Mexican children are taught that a Cristero assassinated Obregon. If true, then the Cristeros can also attribute to themselves the preservation of perhaps the only gain achieved by the Revolution: sufragio efectivo, no reeleccion, or effective suffrage, no re-election. If false, it’s just another false accusation of the Mexican government against Catholics.

    3) Mexican history has a few notable priests who were also military leaders. Perhaps the most famous was Father Miguel Hidalgo, who launched the famous grito (yell) of Mexican Independence in 1810. This still doesn’t make it a good idea for a priest to bear arms and lead military attacks. But it is a fact of Mexican history that cannot be avoided if one pursues the actual events that occurred (as For Greater Glory mostly does).

    4) The Cristeros never lost a battle. Also, the battle in which Gorostieta is killed came about because of a betrayal: a mole had infiltrated the Cristero’s inner circle and provided valuable intelligence to the federal army.

    5) Victoriano Huerta seized power in 1913 after overthrowing President Francisco I. Madero. Madero came as close as anyone to being elected into power in 1911. But his election to the presidency precipitated the Mexican Revolution itself.

    6) The American hierarchy might not have support the Cristero effort, but the Mexican hierarchy mostly did not, either. The Cristeros never gained any formal recognition — and barely any support — from the Mexican bishops. The Vatican was indeed ambivalent about the whole thing. But when a peace was brokered, those who had fought for Christ the King laid down their arms almost immediately (and just as immediately, some were executed). They fought for the Sacraments; when those were restored, in however limited a form, men like Gorostieta no longer had an army to lead. The Cristeros needed a general, and Gorostieta fit this need most capably, but Gorostieta’s goals were not the Cristeros’ goals.

    • Christopher Check

      Chris,
      Thank you for filling in some details that space did not permit.  Yes, Hidalgo was a general priest–a Jesuit, in fact–and much of the trouble starts with him a century before the Revolution.  Indeed, when one talks about Mexican Revolution he needs to say which one.  Abraham Lincoln aided the Mexican Revolution against the French monarchy. 
      The film simplifies the history to be sure.  For example, it is Portes Gil who is president at the time of the Arreglos.
      Was there something I wrote that was contrary to fact?  I’d like to be corrected.
      If we part ways it’s over the definition or even merits of democracy.  Vote fraud is not unheard of north of the Rio Grande, too.  Perhaps a difference of magnitude but not kind.  In any case, democracy has done little for Mexico since 1992.
      What histories of Mexico do you recommend?  Have you read Fehrenbach?  Thanks again for filling in details.  The story of Mexico is complex.
      Peace and Good.

      • Chris

        I read that first sentence after I posted it and wished it
        back immediately. I did not mean to imply such strong a difference. I do agree
        with your point on democracy, though (“If we part ways it’s over the definition
        or even merits of democracy”). Vote fraud and intimidation certainly happen
        here, but there is a strong difference in degree. Vote fraud in national
        elections was a matter of routine in Mexico until 1992. Over the same period of
        time, there was not a similar case in any U.S. presidential election. For
        Calles to claim that the Mexican people elected him is the same thing as Calles
        claiming that he elected himself. There is no difference between the two
        statements, given the facts of the case. Democracy certainly isn’t perfect, but
        Calles was no democrat. And the Mexican people certainly did not elect him
        president in any meaningful sense.

         

        But even if they had, Gorostieta was no hero. Like Calles,
        he was a caudillo. Worse, he was stuck in a soap factory like Francisco Villa
        had been stuck on his hacienda. That’s another thing the movie doesn’t really
        get about retired Revolutionary generals: they were seen as potential rivals to
        the government. Villa was never happy in his peaceful life, either, but Villa
        was finally assassinated. Gorostieta knew this; knew he wasn’t happy in his
        soap factory. He cared little for freedom, contrary to the movie’s portrayal of
        him, and he probably thought it just as likely that he would be killed one
        morning while looking over the factory’s books as fighting on the front lines. The
        movie partially captures this in the materialistic qualities it ascribes to
        Gorostieta; it also doesn’t hide his contempt for the Cristeros’ particular
        form of religion when it shows him contemptuously smoking a cigar while they
        are at Mass (an actual event). But it misses the political angle completely and
        makes Gorostieta out to be something of a hero. He was not. The more I learn of
        Gorostieta, the less I like him. It also heightens my respect for the
        Cristeros, however. They knew their doctrine. A just war requires (among other
        things) a reasonable prospect of victory. Otherwise, you are just wasting
        lives. By hiring Gorostieta, they got the best general left – maybe the best
        general in all of Mexico. And a good general was exactly what they needed to
        win, not necessarily a good Christian. Kudos to them (again).

         

        As to
        authors, I’d recommend the Colegio de México’s Historia General de México,
        along with the Fondo de Cultura Económica’s Lázaro Cárdenas y la Revolución
        Mexicana, for starters. Neither is good on the Cristero wars, and both
        are secular, semi-official histories. So you have to supplement heavily and
        read between the lines. But there is no understanding possible of the Cristero
        war unless you first understand the Revolution; no understanding possible of
        the Revolution unless you first understand the Porfiriato and its unfortunate
        (for Catholics) coziness with the Church. There is no understanding possible of
        the Porfiriato unless you first understand the Reforma Wars – and the
        unfortunate historical alliance between the foreign emperor Maximiliano and the
        Church, which preceded them.

         

        For some more readily available material, try:

         http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/284-cristero-rebellion-part-2-the-combat-phase
        http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/mexicanrev.htm
        Iniques Afflictisque:
        http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_18111926_iniquis-afflictisque_en.html
         http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/05/31/review-of-for-greater-glory/
         http://the-american-catholic.com/2012/03/22/for-greater-glory-viva-christo-rey/
        http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/286-cristero-rebellion-part-1
        http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/284-cristero-rebellion-part-2-the-combat-phase

        http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/282-cristero-rebellion-part-3-behind-the-scenes
        http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/mexico/gorostieta.htm
         http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/sdg-reviews-for-greater-glory/
         http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11ANIMI.HTM
         http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pius_xi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_28031937_nos-es-muy-conocida_en.html
        http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2012/05/i-cry-for-the-heroes-remembering-the-cristero-war/
        http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/14_yearold_mexican_martyr_to_be_beatified_sunday/
        http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/FR94204.TXT
         For a longer (and, unfortunately, 1-inch deep) view on
        the entire sweep of Mexican history from 1857 to 1926, try this: http://catholicexchange.com/author/cstewart/
        . I wrote this, so you might have some fun tearing it apart (it still
        needs work ;) 

        • Christopher Check

          Chris,

          No worries, brother.  I meant my question in all sincerity.  

          Thank you for the links.  I know many of them (I like Jim Tuck–I think his book is sound, even if he and would not have agreed politically).  I have not seen your work and look forward to making my way through it.  

          I’m fond of Bishop Kelley as well.  His autobiography, THE BISHOP JOTS IT DOWN, is an invaluable window into America at the turn of the century.  He knew everyone!

          Peace and Good,

          Chris

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  • 1Indioviejo1

    I saw the movie and I’m glad it was filmed at all.   Catholics have been persecuted in LatinAmerica since the wars for Independence from Spain.   It goes in cycles, but anti-catholicism owes much to the Reformation and later to the atheistic “freethinkers” of the French Revolution.   Educated Latinos if nothing else, picked up on this oppresive attitude.   Lets not forget the Spanish Civil War with the Republican Terror unleashed against our clergy.   Still we will survive as Christ said we would.  VIVA CRISTO REY!

  • Fr. Charles Johnson

    Thank you for this review; it was very informative. I recommend this film, especially for the theme that seems to underlie it all: there is no greater glory than to give one’s life for Christ. In addition, though, to the reservations you expressed so well, I would caution the traditional Catholics among us that liturgical details were hopelessly muddled in some scenes (an insert collar , for instance; stoles worn outside a Roman chasuble, for another). I was nevertheless moved and edified by this fine movie.

  • http://www.butteredham.com/blog/ Aaron B.

    Given this history, can someone explain to me why Republican politicians and many American Catholic bishops see Mexicans as some sort of super-devout and knowledgeable Catholics whom they can import to fix the family values of the USA?  How could they be such, when the faith has been more or less suppressed in their country for most of the last couple centuries?

    • Dave C.

      Aaron,

      Republican politicians are not concerned about the devotion, or lack thereof, of the Latinos, any more than they are concerned about the fact that most are here illegally.  They want their votes.  That’s why they brown-nose the Latino lobby as much as, and in all the same ways as, the Democrats.

      The American episcopate are a composite of Modernism, Americanism and leftism.  As such, it comes as no surprise that most of them are indifferent to, or even openly hostile to, the Traditional Faith.  The practical effect of these heresies in this context is that it renders them like unto the politicians they so pathetically imitate in the governance of their dioceses.  That is, they too, for the most part anyway, are evidently not concerned about whether the Latinos are devout, knowledgable about the Faith, or. for that matter, that most are here illegally.

      This also explains why every single bishop who has publicly opposed the HHS mandate has done so only on the grounds of religious liberty, which I understand to be, ironically, a Masonic/Enlightenment notion.  I have yet to hear of a single case of a bishop invoking the Social Kingship of Christ, the rights of the Church and the obligatyion of all states to support the Church.

      In short, heresies and ideologies can render the smartest people stupid, and in this case it makes the bishops dupes and servants of their enemies.  I’m afraid we the laity are going to have to fight this battle on our own.

      • wilson

         Very well stated.

      • http://www.butteredham.com/blog/ Aaron B.

        All true, but I’ve heard many Republican types talk about how the Catholic faith of Mexican immigrants will make them natural Republican voters.   They seem to really believe that Mexicans are devout, pro-life, pro-family, virtuous Catholics.  Never mind that the evidence at the polls contradicts this theory, or that the history doesn’t support it.  They seem  to have a stereotype of Mexicans as universally rosary-carrying, Mary-venerating, daily-Mass-going people.  Sombreros and burros may also be involved.

    • wilson

       Because of little-known United States Governmental polices since the Medellin Conference in 1968 to de-Catholizie what is left of cultural Catholicism in Hispanic American countries and Brazil by advancing so-called “evangelical” protestantism there, close to half of those people now are evangelical pentecostal shouters and full of that anti-Catholicism.  Any U. S. Catholic clergyman who thinks otherwise is mistaken.

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  • Johnny

    As long as there are secret societies in the United States and abroad, we should be vigilant on what is eroding our religious liberties in a stealthy manner. We should be courageous as the Cristeros were in Mexico.

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