Sunday, December 2, 2012

For Greater Glory


For Greater Glory

Yesterday, Diane and I took some time out to watch this movie, featuring Andy Garcia, Peter O'Toole and Eva Longoria, among others.

Ok, we found the movie a little long and somehow off pace. But, I am not much of a film critic, so I mostly sat back and was entertained.

Even though the movie might have been a little off a pace, the story itself is fascinating.

It is based on the true story of the Cristero War in Mexico.

After the revolution in Mexico, the The 1917 Constitution "outlawed teaching by the Church, gave control over Church matters to the state, put all Church property at the disposal of the state, outlawed religious orders, outlawed foreign born priests, gave states the power to limit or eliminate priests in their territory, deprived priests of the right to vote or hold office, prohibited Catholic organizations which advocated public policy, prohibited religious publications from commenting on public policy, prohibited clergy from religious celebrations and from wearing clerical garb outside of a church and deprived citizens of the right to a trial for violations of these provisions."

However, these were not strictly enforced until the Calles Presidency. Calles was opposed to the Church and believed it was in the way of social progress. Marxist voices in Mexico were also opposed to the Catholic Church and the belief that they held back the country and should not be allowed a voice of influence.

As a result of the enforcing of these laws, Catholics began to protest, which led to violent reprisals by the government, which led to armed uprisings by Catholics.

The movie chronicles these uprisings and the hiring of General Enrique Gorostieta Velarde (Andy Garcia's character) to lead the war, as well as the activity of Jose Sanchez Del Rio, who was later beatified (made a saint) by the Catholic Church.

The War ended when the Church made a deal with the Mexican Government, brokered by our government, which is also shown in the movie. Some sources say that around 90,000 people died in the war, with a further 5,000 executed in violation of the agreement afterwards by the Mexican Government.

This is a historic event that I was entirely unaware of until I saw this movie. I know that their are still many countries where the faithful are still killed and silenced for their faith, but it is disturbing that such outright persecution took place so close to us so recently.

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