"For Greater Glory" – The Cristiada

I attended a screening of "For Greater Glory," which tells of the Cristiada, the war waged against the oppressive Mexican government in the 1920's by the Cristeros. What a magnificent film… absolutely inspiring! Not only should every Catholic see it for its beautiful testament to our Faith, but everyone should see it as a reminder of how precious is the right to religious freedom.

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The most haunting line to me: when Plutarco Calles arrogantly says, "The people elected ME!" I've heard that someplace before…

When seeing this movie, understand that it concentrates on the the fighting force within the Cristeros, although certainly there are references to those were every bit as much a part of the movement, but who did not take up arms.

The martyrdom of some of the priests is shown and the amazing depiction of the boy-martyr, Jose Luis Sanchez del Rios, is a major thread throughout the movie, as is the growing faith of General Velarde. But this isn't primarily a "lives of the saints" Catholic film viewed through stained-glass. It's a sobering reminder of the evil of secularism, and the sometimes-brutal requirements of the fight for freedom, especially religious freedom.

Although it's due to be in American theaters starting June 1st, those in other countries may have to wait until it's released on DVD, but if you have the opportunity, I encourage you to see this movie.

¡Viva Cristo Rey!

Author: Fr. Christopher Phillips

Fr. Christopher G. Phillips is the pastor of Our Lady of the Atonement Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, where he has served for the past twenty-eight years. He is the founding pastor of the first Anglican Use parish, erected in 1983 under the terms of the Pastoral Provision. Fr. Phillips was ordained as an Anglican for the Diocese of Bristol, England, in 1975. After serving as Curate for three years at St. Stephen Southmead, he returned to the United States and served in two Episcopal parishes in the Diocese of Rhode Island. In 1981 he left the Episcopal Church and moved with his family to Texas, where he was subsequently ordained as a Catholic priest in 1983. Fr. Phillips and his wife, JoAnn, have been married for forty years. They have five children, all grown and married, and three grandchildren.

9 thoughts on “"For Greater Glory" – The Cristiada”

  1. It is good to see, from time to time, a reminder of how far and how serious we should view our faith. Let us remind ourselves that the Cristero War happened not even one-hundred years ago, and we see echoes of it in our time; in the United States, in Europe, in China, and in other places all over the world.

  2. Dear Friends in the Anglican Use:

    Today was the last feria in Ascensiontide in the T.L.M. calendar, and, for obvious symbolic reasons, Benedict XVI will not bounce back to the C.D.F. the signed Doctrinal Preamble tomorrow, on the Feast of Hildebrand, Pope St. Gregory the VII. That means that Benedict XVI will almost certainly sign a reconciliation with the S.S.P.X. just two days from now, on the Vigil of Pentecost (just as John Paul II signed the Decree for the Campos personal Apostolic Administration on Christmas Eve, 2001). He will likely vacate or expunge the suppression of the Society of 1975 and the suspension a divinis of 1976, and recognise that the Society's clerics are Catholic at law (including Section 1 of Canon 1248). It will take more time before a canonical structure is determined but Bishop Fellay has already assured the world that it will allow them to continue to work everywhere in the world completely exempt from the authority of the local bishops and directly subject to Rome (I expect a personal Archdiocese and not a personal prelature but the Pope can alter the terms of the structure to make it fit). Between Pentecost and the grant of the canonical structure (likely to come in July), the Pope will likely grant them temporary faculties for the administration of all Sacraments, as it would be very difficult for them to stop administering the Sacraments of Penance, Marriage, Confirmation and Holy Orders. Their Masses will be publicly declared to fulfil the Sunday and holyday obligation from the instant of recognition, as were those of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer before their full regularisation.

    Assuming that this recognition is made on Saturday, it does not follow that a public announcement of it will fall on the same day, although this might happen. But, in all the other cases, there is a delay between a signing and an announement, during which time the local bishops and other interested parties are privately informed of the consequences. Likely times for the announcement will be Thursday, 31st May, the Feast of the Coronation of our Lady (the last day of the month), or its eve, or between Trinity Sunday and the Thursday Feast of Corpus Christi, on 7th June. I don't think that we shall need to wait beyond Corpus Christi to hear of this.

    Pray for the Pope, that the wolves not devour him, for many will try to prevent this outcome. I have waited, in some ways, my whole life for this day to come.


    1. God's Will be done! Ha, the bishop's crozier is not just for drawing in the lost sheep; it's also for beating up any wolf that threatens his flock! May God have mercy on the Holy Father and help him with his sacred tasks!


  3. Friends:
    It seems to me that if Rome wants to form a unique structure for TLM groups, they already have obedient Catholics in organizations such as the Priestly Society of St. Peter or the Institute of Christ the King as well as small groups in every diocese who are already operational. It is a much different case than the Anglican issue. Further, it is not as if we need the SSPX to come over and run the show — since the TLM is already allowed and there are already lovers of the Tridentive Mass living and operating under the Chair of St Peter. They just need a bit more support. At some point, a little "bowing of the head" and returning to Peter may be required rather than constant "finagling". Those of us who are the much disparaged "cradle Catholics" have put up with a lot — it is the lot of all who choose to follow Christ — but we know that through it all and even against the wishes of some of our leaders, Christ is there in the Tabernacle waiting for a little consolation and asking us to focus on Him rather than winning our personal little wars within his often divided flock.

    Ubi Petrus, ibi Ecclesia,
    Dan Hoffman

  4. A part of Mexican history that is not mentioned here are the abuses of the Holy Roman Catholic Inquisition in Mexico which are the preamble behind President Elias Calles reason to launch this conflict. This 'Cristeros' conflict and its origins are as complex or even more than the origins of the American Civil War (or the War of the States) and in a large part are still being played out in 21st century Mexican politics.

    Viva Cristo Rey!

  5. Surely it is high time that General Franco, a great European defender of the faith against the onslaught of Communism (=secularism), should be given his due place in history. I for one believe that canonisation would not be going too far.

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