Tuesday, May 29, 2012

“Viva Cristo Rey!”

It may or may not be a good film, but the reaction to it is a bit revealing. "Viva Cristo Rey!":
The movie depicts the Mexican Cristero uprising against the military dictatorship of President Plutarco Calles between 1926 and 1929. Calles was an ardent anti-Catholic in a nation dominated by Catholics. At his command Catholic churches were ordered shuttered, the Mass outlawed and many priests murdered.

The most famous moment in the struggle, not depicted in the film, was the martyrdom of Padre Miguel Pro, ordered shot by firing squad by Calles in 1927, with the heart-wrenching final moments (Pro kneeling in prayer, then standing, his arms extended in the sign of the cross as bullets shatter him, Pro shot point blank when the fusillade didn’t kill him) photographed by order of the Presidente. Padre Pro was beatified by Pope John Paul II the Great in 1988. ....

.... Slant magazine pans it as a film “that gives the screen epic a bad name.” It attacks the “solemn speechifying,” the “overstuffed cast of characters,” the “half-baked material,” and given “this religion is specifically Catholic… [the movie] …makes the material a tough sell.” When Garcia’s character ultimately converts to Christianity, “we’re back to embracing a worldview where the implied mandate to practice Catholicism feels near as onerous as the inability to do so.”

But how historically accurate is this “implied mandate to practice Catholicism”? Here’s a hint. Slant dismisses “a whole host of bathetic subplots” claiming “its martyrdom fetish reaches its grotesque nadir when a young boy dies rather than make the most token anti-Catholic gesture.” ....

The “most token anti-Catholic gesture” which would have saved his life was his refusal to shout “Death to Christ the King,” instead proclaiming “Viva Cristo Rey!”

Jose was 14. He was beatified by Benedict XVI in 2005.

It is still illegal to celebrate Mass outdoors in Mexico. [more]
Bozell Column: Viva Cristo Rey! | NewsBusters.org