Friday night I saw the movie For Greater Glory, with Andy Garcia (directed by Dean Wright). It is a beautiful film. I would change very little and any critique I may have is more on style than substance. Considering I earn my living supervising government clerks, I think Mr. Wright can do without my input.
I am glad I saw it, because the obvious parallels between what happened then in Mexico and what is happening now in the United States are easy to see. And while I have hope that the situation would never deteriorate to the point where people like Father Illo are dragged out of a Church and shot I do not dismiss anything anymore as 'over the top dramatics'. I never thought there would be selective abortions in this country or that my President would be reluctant to outlaw them because he does not want to infringe upon a woman's 'right' to choose to kill her baby in utero because she doesn't want another girl.
With all this in mind, we begin our prayers for Religious Freedom . Please go to the Bishop's website and read the statement about being Catholic in America.
Americans have always hated us, just as Americans have hated Jews and Blacks. We, as a class of people, have been reviled and attacked since we showed up here but that is what makes us who we are - Catholics and Martyrdom go hand in hand since the founder was sacrificed for the sins of the world. We hate it but we know it is inevitable.
In our long history we have often acted, as a people, in a sinful and hateful manner ourselves. We have rejected those who do not look right, or are the wrong color or worshiped God in a different manner. We do not have clean hands when it comes to prejudice and hatred.
The sadness, however, is that the ideals of America and the Teachings of The Church are NOT incompatible. It has been the error of America to think that we 'worship' The Pope and do not love our country. I has been the error of America to want us destroyed because of our love for Christ and our acceptance of the leadership, in Faith and Morals, of the Bishop of Rome. I have been accused of wanting a 'Catholic Nation' by those who have no idea what that really means in a modern society; rather, they have a knee jerk reaction that it reminiscent of a McCoy hating a Hatfield at the idea that a Catholic may want to live in a nation that acknowledges true Power comes not from man but from God.
So I begin to pray today that my country pull back in its attempt to wipe The Church off the map. I do so not because I fear for The Church. We may suffer and we may even be forced underground as we have been in the past - but ultimately, the loser in this battle will be my country because The Church will exist until Jesus comes again.
It's been 2000 years and counting.....so far, we are still who we are: Catholic.
Viva Crista Rey!