If You Haven't Seen "For Greater Glory" Yet, Why Haven't You?
Other things get mentioned in passing. 1 of those is the involvement of the Knights of Columbus. The movie only mentions the KCs contacting the US government. But they did much more. The KCs were already active in Mexico. Like many other Catholic organizations, they came under attack by the Calles government. Several KCs who were martyred in the Cristero War have been either beatified or declared saints by the Catholic Church. You can read more about what they did in 2 articles in the May 2012 issue of Columbia: The Untold Story of the Knights during the Cristiada & The Voice for Religious Freedom Knows No Border.
While there wasn't an excess of blood or gore, the movie did accurately portray the violence. That included the hangings. 1 of the things shown was how Calles had the bodies hung on telephone poles, including those alongside the railroad tracks. The reason for this was the same as that used by the Roman empire for why they crucified criminals & rebels along public ways. It was to send a message that if you don't stop rebelling the same fate awaited you.
The portrayal of the hangings reminded me of something else. I am refering to the hangings by the Ku Klux Klan in the USA. Again the hangings were a means of terrorizing those the KKK opposed. That included Catholics. The KKK was rabidly anti-Catholic & would do anything to help wipe them out. That meant they fully supported what Calles was doing. In fact, the Klan offered its 4 million members as soldiers for the Calles regime should any group or country intervene militarily.
While not mentioned in the movie, another big supporter of Calles efforts to wipe out the Catholic Church in Mexico was Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. She praised Calles’ campaign against the Church & saw it as a step toward making her work easier: “With the yoke of medievalism thus thrown off we can anticipate a splendid development of the government work for birth control already begun in Mexico.” Of course her other reason for wanting promoting birth control in Mexico had to do with her racist eugenics agenda. Remember she saw Mexicans as an inferior people. This agenda is still carried on by Planned Parenthood today. & not only in Mexico but in all of Central & South America.
1 of the things shown in the movie were attempts by the Federales to get Catholics to aposticise. Saying, “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” (Long Live Christ the King!), the battle cry of the Cristeros, was considered to be an act of treason. The scenes where the Federales tried to get Catholics to deny Christ or be shot again reminded me of how the early Christians were given the choice of worshiping Caesar or being martyred. To not worship Caesar was treason. The movie shows many Catholics facing death with “¡Viva Cristo Rey!” on their lips.
I know that many people like to walk out the second the credits start at the end of the movie. In this case, I would say don't. The credits start with telling what happenned to some of those portrayed in the movie. Throughout the credits we see actually pictures of the events during the war. 1 of those pictures is of Blessed Miguel Pro (José Ramón Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez) being martyred.
The movie was rightly rated R because of the violence depicted. I won't make the arguement here that, given the violence & sex in some PG-13 movies, that it could have been rated that instead. Clearly, this movie is not suitable for very young children. But given the exposure to so much violence in video games, most teens (& some 10-12 year lods) would be able to handle it. In fact, I would strongly recomend that parents of teens take them. & then use the movie as a starting point for a discussion on what it means to live the Catholic faith, especially the cost. Why were the martyrs, from the early days of the Catholic Church until now, willing to lay down their lives for what they believed in. Another topic would be how does this compare to the attacks on the Catholic Church & religious faith in general by the Obama administration. How is this persecution similar or different? Could we be seeing Catholics arrested & martyred in the US for refusing to submit to the attacks on the Catholic Church (& other Christians as well)?
I hope we never face the type of persecution the Calles government wrought on the Catholic Church. (Note: even after the agreement, persecution continued. Calles' government often did not abide by the terms of the truce. In violation of its terms, executed some 500 Cristero leaders & 5,000 other Cristeros.) This movie has inspired me to continue my efforts to see that it doesn't. We must have the same courage that the early Christians as well as the Cristeros had. We must ask God to give us the strength & graces needed to live our faith & defend it, even if it may some day cost us our lives.