Friday, June 1, 2012

What Can Ordinary People Do? Viva Cristo Rey!

Portraits of some of the Catholic priests martyred during Mexico's war against the Church during the 1920 and 1930s
The extraordinary witness of ordinary people. This is how Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput summarized the response of Mexican citizens and their parish priests to atheist President Plutarco Elias Calles's attempt to eradicate the Catholic Church in Mexico during the 1920s and into the 1930s. Tens of thousands of Mexicans died in this era of religious persecution.

Chaput writes: "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."

The Bishop reminds us: "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 the complete commentary on why this film is good cinema and good history, see Bishop Chaput's full review at


No comments:

Post a Comment