For Greater GLory

Mexican Cristeros

By on June 3, 2012 7:36:48 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

lulapilgrim

Join Date 01/2007
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For Greater Glory Poster
 
......coming to theaters near you June 1st, the story of Mexican Cristeros...........

 Caution: Powerful film examines faith, persecution
Ed Vitagliano - Guest Columnist - 5/30/2012 2:15:00 PM

 

Ed VitaglianoFor centuries, Christians have wrestled with the questions of how their faith should impact culture and how far they should go to promote a righteous and just society. For Greater Glory, a film arriving in theaters June 1, dives head first into such thorny issues.

 

 

This powerful film examines the response of Catholics in Mexico in the mid to late 1920s to growing persecution. Plutarco Calles, the president of Mexico, instituted severe restrictions on the Catholic Church -- restrictions which turned increasingly violent. The film shows priests being executed by hanging and by firing squad, churches being desecrated and worshipers shot by soldiers during services.

 

Catholics in the country divided over whether to respond to this persecution by accepting their suffering or by armed revolt. Many Catholics chose the latter, fearing that secularists aimed to exterminate their faith altogether. The result was the "Cristero" Rebellion -- a term that derived from the loyalty of the rebels to "Cristo Rey," or "Christ the King."
 
For Greater Glory clearly presents the Cristero Rebellion as the proper response to Calles' efforts, although it is also shows the courage of those priests who preferred martyrdom to armed conflict. In addition, the film demonstrates that sometimes violence gets out of hand -- even in the service of a noble cause.
 
For Greater Glory is well-written, fast-paced and has some star power, with Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, and Peter O'Toole headlining it.
 
There is plenty of violence -- it's a war movie after all -- and for that reason it is rated R. There is no profanity, but the film does include lots of drinking and smoking, and one scene where women are shown in undergarments (of the time period) as they seek to hide ammunition intended for the Cristeros.
 
The message of the Cristeros is summarized by one character's statement: "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." The viewer must wrestle -- as the film does -- with whether or not such a motive is proper for a Christian.

 

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June 3, 2012 8:20:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

The viewer must wrestle -- as the film does -- with whether or not such a motive is proper for a Christian.

"Thou shalt not murder." seems to cover it, no? Jesus felt that all of The Law hinged upon two Commandments - the first and second.

You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

Being on the receiving end of violence does not justify returning it (except in one specific case, below), nor acting preemptively. While self defense is legal, you ask whether it is moral: Specifically, in the Christian framework of morals.

The answer to that would depend on whose view is the ultimate one (for you in that framework). If it is Jesus', then the answer would be that unless one feels that by not resisting attack, harm for those he is responsible for would occur, he should submit himself to the will of the attacker.

This answer is specific to the Christian moral framework only, as that seems to be what you were asking in the OP.

 

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June 3, 2012 8:37:04 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums
The movie stars Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria and Peter O.Toole. It is touted a the true story of how the Catholic Church, through a three–year conflict called the Cristero War, won its freedom from the government of Mexico. 
Carl Anderson in National Review writes, "In 1924 the Mexican government moved to suppress that faith. With the election of Plutarco Eliás Calles as president, it began to enforce anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 constitution that had mostly been in abeyance until then. One of the government’s first assaults on religious liberty was its attempt to control who could serve as clergy. Foreign priests were expelled ­ or killed. Clergy were required to register with the government, which reserved the right to determine who counted as a priest.

 
"Next came the move to ban religion from public view. Citizens were told they could “worship” freely, but privately. Priests who wore clerical attire outside their churches or rectories faced large fines. A priest who criticized the government could be jailed for five years, and priests were arrested or killed just for serving their flocks."

 The Cristero fighters took up arms in 1926 when the Mexican government outlawed and forcibly suppressed the Christian faith (Roman Catholic in particular as the dominant version).  Suppression included the public execution of priests and parishioners by hanging and firing squad.




Cristeros Movie Trailer  

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June 3, 2012 10:34:06 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hopefully I'll have time to see it next week and post comments.

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June 4, 2012 12:28:58 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

If one were prone to be fair (most aren’t), then an opposing side should at least be examined too. I liked "Even the Rain’ (foreign sorry) also based on real world events, times two. Christians always view other Christian’s actions as virtuous and in some isolated cases maybe they were. But the function and purpose of the RCC has been well demonstrated and documented through our nondenominational historical archives. I will watch the movie when it is available just because I like history. I would be happy to pick it apart then though if I find it lacking merit.

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June 4, 2012 1:35:24 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums
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June 4, 2012 4:35:34 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Another review from the Catholic News Service...

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/movies/12mv060.htm

 

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June 4, 2012 4:56:28 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting RogueCaptain,
Hopefully I'll have time to see it next week and post comments.

I plan to see the movie tomorrow at the morning showing.

 

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June 4, 2012 5:59:53 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I found this, a bit more informative   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristero_War

Also picked up on something that didn't really surprise me, I just wasn't expecting it.

“… later in the war the Calles government was supplied with arms and ammunition by the US government. In at least one battle, American pilots provided air support for the federal army against the Cristero rebels.”

"U.S. ambassador Dwight Whitney Morrow wanted the conflict to end both for regional security and to help find a solution to the oil problem in the US."

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June 4, 2012 9:00:46 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Thanks GFT for the Wiki article. Quite interesting indeed. 

Quoting GirlFriendTess,
“… later in the war the Calles government was supplied with arms and ammunition by the US government. In at least one battle, American pilots provided air support for the federal army against the Cristero rebels.”

I confirmed that quote (which was #24 in the Wiki article). 

Here is the article by Christopher Check...

 
 
 
 
 
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June 5, 2012 1:40:20 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

It is a sticky wicket.  However I disagree with you.  While the crusades were a war of conquest, The Cristeros War was a defensive one.   Even the Vatican of today believes in a "just war".  I wonder how many today think that the war against the holocaust was wrong even in Jesus' view?  Clearly the world we live in is not monotone.  And the answers are not easy.  I am just glad I do not have to make those type of decisions.

And I do support the decision by those who fought against the government in the Cristero Rebellion

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June 5, 2012 2:13:46 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I think the answers are easy, it's just that some people don't like those answers.

 

Thou shalt not murder does not mean don't go to war.

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June 5, 2012 2:34:54 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Dr Guy,

Quoting DrJBHL, reply 1You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

If not, Crusades or any violence can be justified.

It is a sticky wicket.  However I disagree with you.  While the crusades were a war of conquest, The Cristeros War was a defensive one.   Even the Vatican of today believes in a "just war".  I wonder how many today think that the war against the holocaust was wrong even in Jesus' view?  Clearly the world we live in is not monotone.  And the answers are not easy.  I am just glad I do not have to make those type of decisions.

And I do support the decision by those who fought against the government in the Cristero Rebellion

Unfortunately you didn't get to:

Quoting DrJBHL,
The answer to that would depend on whose view is the ultimate one (for you in that framework). If it is Jesus', then the answer would be that unless one feels that by not resisting attack, harm for those he is responsible for would occur, he should submit himself to the will of the attacker.

Quoting Jythier,
Thou shalt not murder does not mean don't go to war.

If by "going to war" you mean starting a war of conquest, economic gain or vengeance... yes it does.

"Thou shall not murder." is not the same as "Thou shall not kill." which was a mistranslation of the Hebrew (lirtzoach=to murder, laharog=to kill). Jesus understood Hebrew very well (although probably spoke Aramaic...they are related). He felt that if you are defending those for whom you have responsibility death/killing ensues, that is not breaking the Commandment. If however you start a war for any other reason, and death ensued, it would be murder and therefore breaking the Commandment, and therefore wrong.

 

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June 5, 2012 2:55:37 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

How do you reconcile that interpretation with God commanding the Isrealites to take the Promised Land?

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June 5, 2012 3:11:34 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I was discussing Christian doxology, nothing further.

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June 5, 2012 3:18:44 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were discussing what Jesus felt and such.

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June 5, 2012 3:23:49 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jythier,
Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were discussing what Jesus felt and such.

Only as far as I, as a non-christian understand. Also, only related to the question/dilemma posed by the OP.

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June 5, 2012 4:13:00 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

You can use God to justify anything, but there are two things one should be worried about - one, everyone is going to meet him when one dies, and two, other people have His Word and know what He thinks about what one has done.

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June 5, 2012 5:17:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Google is your friend.  At least that's what Google keeps telling us.  http://www.catholic.com/documents/just-war-doctrine

 

The riddle was solved with Just War theory doctrine.  Remember to keep in mind it has been revisited since the Catechism.

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June 5, 2012 9:00:30 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

I saw the movie this morning and found all 143 minutes of it fabulous and inspirational. It was made very very well with beautiful music, scenery and great acting too. What I took out of it mostly was the brave Cristeros, young and old, but most moving is the "deep faith", fearless faith..love of Christ and the Church. More than a few times the screen was blurred from my tears.

A friend recommended I stay for the credits as they give a history of the real life figures portrayed in the film, including those who were canonized by the Church. I'd encourage everyone to see it ...it gives the viewer a glimpse of the harshness of the Mexican government's tyrannical suppression of the Church and religious freedom that not too many people are even aware of..certainly not I before the film. 

I think the release of this film is very timely and may help us gain a better understanding of the seriousness of the current Obama administration's attack on religious freedom in the form of his HHS mandate.

Here is a review of the movie from Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. 

 

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia is an insightful commentator on the culture, as he demonstrated in his book Render Unto Caesar: Serving the Nation by Living our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life (2008) and his recent e-book, A Heart on Fire: Catholic Witness and the Next America.  He regularly writes a column (posted at www.CatholicPhilly.com) in which he addresses current events from a pastoral perspective.  Around Memorial Day, as vacation season was beginning, he devoted his column to the theme of quality recreation and “enthusiastically” recommended For Greater Glory as “a film that no Catholic should miss this summer”. 

Written, directed and acted with outstanding skill, it’s the story of Mexico’s Cristero War (also known as La Cristiada, 1926-29). Largely ignored until recently—even in Mexico—the war resulted from Mexico’s atheist constitution of 1917, subsequent anti-religious legislation and fierce anti-clerical persecution by the government of President Plutarco Elias Calles, who came to power in 1924.

The Catholic response to the Calles regime first took the form of non-violent petitions, suspended religious services and economic boycotts. But bloody popular resistance broke out in 1926. By 1929, 50,000 Cristero rebels were fighting the federal government. A small number of priests took up arms with their people. More than 90,000 persons died in the fighting. In the process, the authorities murdered thousands of Catholic laypeople and dozens of priests.

Blessed Miguel Pro, a Jesuit priest, was executed without trial in 1927. Blessed Jose Sanchez del Rio, age 14, was shot to death for refusing to deny his faith in 1928. In both cases, the martyrs’ last words were Viva Cristo Rey! (Long live Christ the King!) The Church has since honored dozens of other Mexican martyrs for their heroism during the Calles persecution.

By 1929, pressured by Cristero success and U.S. diplomacy, federal authorities agreed to ease some restrictions on the Church and end violent persecution. Mexico’s bishops accepted the brokered peace. The Cristero rebellion slowly died out. But the government soon betrayed its promises….

Federal authorities murdered hundreds of former Cristero leaders and thousands of former Cristero fighters in reprisals. And the government continued its belligerence against the Church throughout the 1930s—a campaign of atheist violence and anti-religious hatred that provided the backdrop for two of Graham Greene’s finest books: his travelogue, The Lawless Roads (1939), and arguably his greatest novel, The Power and the Glory(1940).

Of course, gripping history does not automatically translate into good drama. Too many films for the family and religious markets suffer from lots of good intentions, but a lack of resources, inadequate talent and weak professional skills.  For Greater Glory succeeds where so many similar films have failed.

Archbishop Chaput praises the “superb” cast and a screenplay that “gives them the kind of robust material they need to work with: strong dialogue, fully developed characters, vivid moral conflicts in a time of revolutionary violence, and a compelling story”.   

For Greater Glory is … an extraordinary portrait of ordinary people struggling to defend their convictions. It’s among the most absorbing films by any director or movie studio that I’ve seen in the past few years.

We Americans in 2012 live in a different land in a different time. We’re blessed with freedoms the Cristeros could only imagine. But those freedoms depend on our willingness to defend them. Religious liberty is never guaranteed by anything but our own vigilance. Even in this country, contempt for religious faith, and especially the Catholic faith, is alive and well. For Greater Glory captures with memorable power and grace where that bigotry can lead—and the cost of resisting it.

 

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June 5, 2012 9:30:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting lulapilgrim,
A friend recommended I stay for the credits

To not stay for a Movie's credits is to insult the art and its creators....

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June 5, 2012 10:26:58 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

 A quote from Ed Vitagliano in the orginal article:

"The message of the Cristeros is summarized by one character's statement: "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." The viewer must wrestle -- as the film does -- with whether or not such a motive is proper for a Christian."

Quoting DrJBHL,
"Thou shalt not murder." seems to cover it, no? Jesus felt that all of The Law hinged upon two Commandments - the first and second.

You ask whether "We are an army fighting for God and the church and for freedom." is justified in Jesus' views? The answer would be no.

DrJBHL, 

Just a small point...It was not me but Ed Vitagliano who asked this question.

You say the answer would be no. I disagree. If all men did the will of Christ our King, there would be no war. But if some people refuse to do the will of Christ, those who desire to fulfill His will may be compelled to fight and may quite lawfully do so. 

The government of Mexico was bent on murdering or otherwise causing pain and suffering to innocent people, men, women and children. Christ nowhere teaches that we must allow others to suffer unjustly. If, owing to the malice of others, there is no means of doing this save by taking up arms, war is lawful. After seeing the film and reading historical accounts, I believe the Cristero War was a just war.  If warfare is unjustly forced upon a peaceful people, then that people is justified in defending itself by force of arms if necessary. 

Quoting DrJBHL,
I was discussing Christian doxology, nothing further.

 

The Bible never declares war intrinsically immoral. On the contrary, in hundreds of passages, Almighty God approves and commands war. 

Yes, Our Lord's chief commandment was the love of God and the love of the neighbor for God's sake. If the world were faithful to it, war would become impossible. But the Mexican government set at nothing the Christian principles of justice and virtue of charity (love). 

Though temporal, political, and national matters were outside the scope of Christ's mission, He did not condemn them. He abstracted from the temperal concerns of this world, and preached the kingdom of God, bidding men to attend to the spiritual welfare of their souls, and to make sure of securing their eternal welfare whatever might be their success or disasters in this life.

 Without any condemnation of earthly warfare, He even chose analogies from it in order to illustrate His higher teachings. And He treated war as quite a normal event incidental  to the worldly imperfections given over to the administrations of men. 

You will notice in the Gospels that Christ met several military men and soldiers and even wrought miracles for some of them, yet never once did He condemn their occupation, nor did He ever condemn war. Thus in St.Luke 14:31, He says, "Or what king, about to go to make war upon another king, does not first sit down, and think whether he be able with ten thousand, to meet him, that with 20,000 cometh against him?" 


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June 10, 2012 10:05:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A movie's worth is sometimes bet said in the faces of its audience and I've never seen so many teary eyes come out of a theater before.

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June 10, 2012 11:18:13 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Quoting lulapilgrim, reply 19A friend recommended I stay for the credits

To not stay for a Movie's credits is to insult the art and its creators....

Most movies insult the art and the creators of the movies.  I find it better to not watch the credits and save them the embarrassment.

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June 11, 2012 9:10:42 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jythier,
Most movies insult the art and the creators of the movies.

That is inherently nonsensical .....

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June 11, 2012 3:10:56 PM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

You must not have seen many movies lately.

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