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June 10, 2012


Then, Now and Always: Viva Cristo Rey!

Part One

by Thomas A. Droleskey

Readers of this site should be familiar with my criticism of most of what passes for "popular culture" today. Most television, film and theater productions promote and glorify sin in one form or another, sometimes doing so very graphically. Although it is my intention to write a book on the coarsening of popular culture in the past six years or so after several other projects are completed, I have written on this subject several times on this site.

The degeneration of the popular culture has not been limited to the past sixty years, however. One can certainly trace the proximate antecedent roots of this degeneration to the pagan elements of the Renaissance in the late-Fifteenth Century. Freemasonry helped to unleash further elements of this degeneration in the Nineteenth Century, something that was noted by Pope Leo XIII in Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884:

Wherefore we see that men are publicly tempted by the many allurements of pleasure; that there are journals and pamphlets with neither moderation nor shame; that stage-plays are remarkable for license; that designs for works of art are shamelessly sought in the laws of a so-called verism; that the contrivances of a soft and delicate life are most carefully devised; and that all the blandishments of pleasure are diligently sought out by which virtue may be lulled to sleep. Wickedly, also, but at the same time quite consistently, do those act who do away with the expectation of the joys of heaven, and bring down all happiness to the level of mortality, and, as it were, sink it in the earth. Of what We have said the following fact, astonishing not so much in itself as in its open expression, may serve as a confirmation. For, since generally no one is accustomed to obey crafty and clever men so submissively as those whose soul is weakened and broken down by the domination of the passions, there have been in the sect of the Freemasons some who have plainly determined and proposed that, artfully and of set purpose, the multitude should be satiated with a boundless license of vice, as, when this had been done, it would easily come under their power and authority for any acts of daring. (Pope Leo XIII, Humanum Genus, April 20, 1884.)


The "envelope" in this regard was pushed a lot by silent film products of the second and third decades of the Twentieth Century, prompting Pope Pius XI to write as follows in his encyclical letter On the Christian Education of Youth, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929:

More than ever nowadays an extended and careful vigilance is necessary, inasmuch as the dangers of moral and religious shipwreck are greater for inexperienced youth. Especially is this true of impious and immoral books, often diabolically circulated at low prices; of the cinema, which multiplies every kind of exhibition; and now also of the radio, which facilitates every kind of communications. These most powerful means of publicity, which can be of great utility for instruction and education when directed by sound principles, are only too often used as an incentive to evil passions and greed for gain. St. Augustine deplored the passion for the shows of the circus which possessed even some Christians of his time, and he dramatically narrates the infatuation for them, fortunately only temporary, of his disciple and friend Alipius. How often today must parents and educators bewail the corruption of youth brought about by the modern theater and the vile book! (Pope Pius XI, Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)

Pope Pius XI specifically targeted motion pictures for criticism in Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936, although he again emphasized the fact that such productions could be used for the good if directed by sound principles:

There is no need to point out the fact that millions of people go to the motion pictures every day; that motion picture theatres are being opened in ever increasing number in civilized and semi-civilized countries; that the motion picture has become the most popular form of diversion which is offered for the leisure hours not only of the rich but of all classes of society.

At the same time, there does not exist today a means of influencing the masses more potent than the cinema. The reason for this is to be sought for in the very nature of the pictures projected upon the screen, in the popularity of motion picture plays, and in the circumstances which accompany them.

The power of the motion picture consists in this, that it speaks by means of vivid and concrete imagery which the mind takes in with enjoyment and without fatigue. Even the crudest and most primitive minds which have neither the capacity nor the desire to make the efforts necessary for abstraction or deductive reasoning are captivated by the cinema. In place of the effort which reading or listening demands, there is the continued pleasure of a succession of concrete and, so to speak, living pictures.

This power is still greater in the talking picture for the reason that interpretation becomes even easier and the charm of music is added to the action of the drama. Dances and variety acts which are sometimes introduced between the films serve to increase the stimulation of the passions.

It must be Elevated

Since then the cinema is in reality a sort of object lesson which, for good or for evil, teaches the majority of men more effectively than abstract reasoning, it must be elevated to conformity with the aims of a Christian conscience and saved from depraving and demoralizing effects.

Everyone knows what damage is done to the soul by bad motion pictures. They are occasions of sin; they seduce young people along the ways of evil by glorifying the passions; they show life under a false light; they cloud ideals; they destroy pure love, respect for marriage, affection for the family. They are capable also of creating prejudices among individuals and misunderstandings among nations, among social classes, among entire races.

On the other hand, good motion pictures are capable of exercising a profoundly moral influence upon those who see them. In addition to affording recreation, they are able to arouse noble ideals of life, to communicate valuable conceptions, to impart a better knowledge of the history and the beauties of the Fatherland and of other countries, to present truth and virtue under attractive forms, to create, or at least to favour understanding among nations, social classes, and races, to champion the cause of justice, to give new life to the claims of virtue, and to contribute positively to the genesis of a just social order in the world.  (Pope Pius XI, Vigilanti Cura, June 29, 1936.)

Pope Pius XI made very important Catholic distinctions concerning the simple truth that the nature of man needs recreation, explaining that motion pictures are indeed capable of "exercising a profoundly moral influence upon those who see them, being able "to impart a better knowledge of history" while doing so. Some films used to do this, prompted in no small measure by the formation of the Catholic Legion of Decency under the leadership of Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, John T, McNicholas.

Archbishop John T. McNicholas, who presided over the Archdiocese of Cincinnati for a quarter of a century, from 1925 to 1950, started the Legion of Decency in 1933, three years before Pope Pius XI's Vigilanti Cura, after hearing a plea from the longtime (1933 to 1958l) Apostolic Delegate to the United States of America, Archbishop Amleto Cicognani, who told a Catholic Charities convention that the American bishops had to avoid a "massacre of innocence of youth." Archbishop McNicholas composed a pledge for the Legion of Decency in 1933, revising it a year later. The pledge reads as follows:

I condemn all indecent and immoral motion pictures, and those which glorify crime or criminals. I promise to do all that I can to strengthen public opinion against the production of indecent and immoral films, and to unite with all who protest against them. I acknowledge my obligation to form a right conscience about pictures that are dangerous to my moral life. I pledge myself to remain away from them. I promise, further, to stay away altogether from places of amusement which show them as a matter of policy.

A number of films that, noting artistic license taken for the sake of story-telling, which often included conflating historical figures and inventing fictional ones, are still inspiring audiences who watch them on digital video dis (DVD). Song of Bernadette (1943), Come to the Stable (1949), Quo Vadis (1951), The Robe (1953), El Cid (1961), Francis of Assisi (1961), The Reluctant Saint (1962) and A Man For All Seasons (1966).

Becket, released in 1963, though an artistically well-done motion picture, is a bit more problematic as it portrays Saint Thomas a Becket as King Henry II's companion in debauchery before he was made Archbishop of Canterbury even though the martyr for Holy Mother Church's liberties was chaste throughout his entire life. Mind you, I think that it is a very good film and that it portrays Saint Thomas a Becket's fidelity to the Church above human friendship superbly. It is instructional in that it portrays a good sense of the conflict between an English king and the Archbishop of Canterbury over the powers of Church and State. Inspirational? Well, that's a matter of personal judgment.

Artistic license was taken also in Song of Bernadette on a number of points and A Man For All Seasons fails to mention that Saint Thomas More had been married before to a younger woman who bore him four children, including the only one featured in playwright Robert Bolt's stage play, which he adapted as a screenplay for the motion picture version. Even one of the finest and most inspirational made-for-television motion pictures ever produced, The Scarlet and the Black (1983), takes artistic license to tell its narrative about the heroics of Irish Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty conflated a few historical figures and events.

Such films, no matter their individual defects, were inspirational. They uplifted and informed, if at times incompletely or inaccurately, the audiences who saw them. As the Legion of Decency declined in importance before its being transformed in 1975 into the office of motion pictures for the now-named United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) following the "Second" Vatican Council's "opening" its "windows to the world," Hollywood producers made films that mocked the Faith with abandon. Sadder still, many Catholics not only patronized these movies but were encouraged by some conciliar clergymen to do so.

Thus it is that the truly inspirational epic, For Greater Glory: The True Story of the Cristiada, is the most remarkable film of its kind since Mel Gibson's masterpiece, The Passion of the Christ (2004). Despite its flaws, which will be discussed briefly herein, it is truly an inspirational epic that recounts a good sense, if not the complete history or the real underlying purposes, of the battle of the Cristeros in Mexico for the cause of Christ the King and the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Although a motion picture is only that, a motion picture, For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, is very powerful in reaching both the mind and hearts of those who view it. I found it impossible not to break down in tears at the end of the movie when the the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was shown as the credits were being scrolled. How wonderful it is that so many Catholics who know so little about genuine history are now able to see a cinematic depiction of events about which most Catholics in this country at the time they occurred were completely ignorant or, far worse, totally indifferent.

Perhaps even more telling is the fact that very few Catholics in Mexico, a country specially chosen by Our Lady herself to be the instrument for the conversion of the Americas to the true Faith, the Catholic Faith, apart from which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order, had heard much, if anything, about the Cristeros War that was but the aftermath of over a century of anti-clerical propaganda and political activity on the part of Freemasons and their allies (Socialists, Bolsheviks, atheists of one sort or another) that was funded in no small measure by the "largesse" of their lodge brothers to the north. Yes, the devil had to attack the Faith at the roots in Catholic Mexico, Our Lady's country, in order to spread the poisons of the so-called "ideals" of the American and French revolutions.

To Understand Just A Bit of the Historical Background Omitted, Perhaps of Necessity, in For Greater Glory

The American Revolution was founded in a complete indifference to the true God of Divine Revelation as He has manifested Himself to be exclusively through the Catholic Church, convincing so many Catholics to this very day that this state indifference to religion is actually a benefit that serves the cause of "religious liberty.

As has been pointed out many times on this site and in Conversion in Reverse: How the Ethos of Americanism Converted Catholics and Contributed to the Rise of Conciliarism, the devil did not have to attack the Faith overtly in the English colonies that were located up and down the Eastern seaboard. Sure, the practice of the Holy Faith was prohibited in some colonies. Ah, you see, even this was diabolical as it made the "enlightened" "founding fathers," men who had a a founding hatred for Christ the King, seem so "tolerant" even though it was their specific hope that Catholics, whom they deemed to be "superstitious" people, would in time "see the light" of their "new science of politics." This has indeed happened and the very anti-Incarnational principles of the American founding are enshrined in the conciliar view of Church-State relations.

In Mexico, however, it was vitally necessary for the devil to uproot the Faith with violence as the Cross the Divine Redeemer had been implanted firmly on its soil. Although the history of the Faith in Our Lady's country has misrepresented by many secular historians, who were themselves anticlerical and anti-Catholic, with various oppressive measures taken by the Spanish conquistadores and then the Spanish colonizers, the truth of the matter is that, no matter how complex the issues of land and the treatment of peasants has been in the history of Mexico, Our Lady's country had been liberated from captivity to a religion of the devil, that of the sun-worshiping and human-sacrificing Aztecs, into a thriving center of a New Christendom in the "New World." Mexico and Peru, which was favored by God with a number of saints following its conversion to the Faith in the Sixteenth Century, blazed a path of Catholic culture and civilization that the Freemasons of the Nineteenth Century and thereafter had to uproot and supplant.

As most readers of this site know very well, Mexico and the other parts of what is called Latin America was converted following the apparitions of Our Lady to Juan Diego. It was on Tuesday, December 12, 1531 (Julian Calendar) that Mary Immaculate left an image of herself on the tilma of Juan Diego as he knelt to venerate her after picking up the Castilian roses in the rocks on Tepeyac Hill that Apostolic Administrator (and later Bishop) Monsignor Juan de Zumarraga wanted as proof of Juan Diego's claim that he had first seen Our Lady as he was walking to Holy Mass on Saturday, December 9, 1531 (Julian Calendar). It was during that first apparition that Our Lady had told Juan Diego that she wanted him to go to Monsignor Juan de Zumarraga and to have a shrine built in her honor in Mexico City:

For I am your merciful Mother, to you and to all mankind who love me and trust in me and invoke my help. Therefore, go to the dwelling of the Bishop in Mexico City and say that the Virgin Mary sent you to make known to him her great desire.

Our Lady wanted the millions upon millions of people steeped in the savagery of the pagan superstitions of the Americas to be converted. They were. A thriving Catholic civilization arose in Latin America in a short period of time. Think of all of the great saints that lived in the first century or so after the apparition of Our Lady to Juan Diego atop Tepeyac Hill: Saint Turibius Alfonso de Mogrovejo, Archbishop of Lima, who died in 1606; Saint Francis Solano, who died in 1610; Saint Rose of Lima, O.P., who died in 1617, the very first native-born saint of the Americas; Blessed Martin de Porres, who died in 1639; Blessed John de Massias, who died in 1645. The case of Juan Diego, a simple peasant of such great humility that he tried to avoid Our Lady after missing her on December 10, 1531, to care for his grievously ill uncle, will be clarified when a true pope is restored to the Throne of Saint Peter. A man of such humility and love, who subjected himself to the assaults of Monsignor de Zumarraga's Spanish guards when he tried to present himself to report the news of Our Lady's apparitions, Juan Diego must certainly have had his Heavenly reward.

Catholic universities were established in Mexico City and Lima within decades of Our Lady's apparition to Juan Diego. Our Lady appeared to Mother Mariana Jesus de Torres in Quito, Ecuador, sixty years after she had appeared to Juan Diego, asking Mother Mariana to offer her life in penances for the sins of the Twentieth Century! An American Christendom arose, something that displeased the devil mightily. Oh, yes, some of the Spanish conquistadors and colonial settlers and their descendants were cruel to the indigenous peoples, treating them beneath contempt and subjecting them to various indignities. The missionaries, however, showed for their great love of the peoples whose very salvation Our Lady had appeared to Juan Diego in 1531 to effect so that their daily lives could live in conformity to the Deposit of Faith that her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, had entrusted exclusively to the Catholic Church and so that they could be given supernatural helps in the sacraments to help them live in accord with the precepts contained in that Deposit of Faith as they attempted to scale the heights of personal sanctity.

The devil really doesn't like it when souls take the Catholic Faith seriously, no less attempt, despite the frailties of fallen human nature, to cooperate with the graces won for them by the shedding of every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer on the wood of the Holy Cross and that flow into their hearts and souls through the loving hands of Our Lady, the Mediatrix of All Graces, to root out sin in their lives and to build an entire civilization around the glories of the true Faith. The devil is particularly incensed when Our Immaculate Queen is honored publicly with Rosary processions. He hated the fact that his former captives amongst the peoples of the Aztecs and the Mayans flocked by the millions to pray at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. He had to plot some kind of scheme to undermine the Faith in Mexico, knowing that he would have to used armed force to do so, just as he was doing in Europe by means of the Protestant Revolt.

The adversary's plan to attack Latin America with the same sort of ferocity that he had used in Europe took three centuries to develop as his evil forces of darkness coalesced behind the errors of the American founding and the French Revolution. The former was indifferent to the Incarnation and believed in the semi-Pelagian heresy that men could more or less save themselves and their societies on their own power without having belief in, access to and cooperation with Sanctifying Grace. The latter was based an abject hatred of the Incarnation and the pantheistic deification of man. These related errors of Modernity penetrated throughout Latin America, especially with the founding of Masonic lodges in Our Lady's own country, Mexico, in the 1820s, a phenomenon that had the support, at one level or another, of the United States ambassador to Mexico at the time, Joel Poinsett, as is recounted in a thesis written by one Sarah Frahm:

Although during this early period, it appears that lodges were used primarily for political purposes, it can also be seen that the principles of Masonry, the principles of liberty, progress, the perfectability of man as well as strident anticlericalism, have remained constant no matter what the country or age. These principles were introduced by enlightenment thought and adopted by English Masons. They traveled to Spain through English and French influence, arriving in Mexico through various channels, the earliest being French, later through Mexican deputies arriving home from Spain and finally, through Spanish troops arriving to do battle.

Although lodges existed prior to 1825, it was not until that date that a Mexican Grand Lodge was established with authority to organize and control Mexican lodges. There has been a good deal of discussion about the role of the first American ambassador to Mexico, Joel Poinsett. Some have accused him of engineering the idea in order to gain influence for the United States, wresting control from European interests. Members were principally composed of Spaniards and others who sympathized with Spain, favoring centralism and monarchy.

According to José Fuentes Mares, the National archive in Washington, D.C., contains a letter written by Poinsett that reads as follows:

…with the object of counteracting the fanatical party in Mexico City and, if it is possible, to encourage the spreading of liberal principles among those who are in a position to govern, I aided and encouraged a number of respectable people, men of high standing, to form a Masonic York Grand Lodge…


Others disagree concerning the centrality of Poinsett’s role and claim that several lodges agreed to introduce the York Rite in Mexico. These lodges hoped to provide a good meeting place to discuss political plans, as well as an alternative for those less inclined to the traditional Spanish way of thinking. All Poinsett did, according to this line of thought, was to enable the York Rite to be founded in Mexico. A founding charter was needed and this he was able to provide.

Poinsett, a well-traveled man, fluent in several languages, was an attractive figure in the early years of the young nation. George Fisher, who was a member of the “Independence” Lodge, one of the first lodges founded, of which Lorenzo de Zavala was Worthy Master, tells how Poinsett held weekly “tertulias” every Thursday at his home. These were very popular with the elite who gathered to dance, converse, and play cards.

Those interested in state affairs often withdrew from the festivities to better discuss matters at hand. He claims that Poinsett himself was not affiliated with any lodge and did not visit them. He only provided the authority from New York. He did, however, “give Masonic instruction to those who called on him as his mansion.” The Cross and the Compass: Compromise and Conflict (this is a very pro-Masonic treatise)


Bishop Francis Clement Kelley, the founding bishop of the then-titled Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma, who had served as representative of the American bishops to advance the cause of the suffering Catholics in Mexico with American officials as early as the administration of the anti-Catholic statist President Thomas Woodrow Wilson, explained Joel Poinsett's influence as follows:

He [Poinsett] was venomously hostile to the religion of the Mexican people. He assisted the group of radicals who ousted Iturbide, thereby becoming the real leader of a force containing a few "intellectuals" like himself, but in the main made up of mulattos and mestizos, mixed breed intent on pillage, unfortunates trained by years of revolutions to know no other way of making a living. Poinsett was all this time only an American Government agent. It was after Iturbide had been shot that he came back short he came back as Minister, to be accurate in 1825. He brought his policy of stirring up hate back with him. In 1827 the Grand Lodge of Mexico in collaboration with him adopted a resolution--"acuerdo"--suggesting that the York Rite should immediately "redouble its efforts" to make its principles effective in Mexico "in accordance with the terms in which it is conceived," namely: . . . "Improvement in the moral condition of the people by depriving the clergy of its monopoly on public education, by increasing educational facilities and inculcating social duties by means of the foundation of museums, art conservations and public libraries, by the establishment institutions for classic literature, science and morals."

How much like [Plutarco Elias] Calles that sounds! And how often has the recommendation about the clergy been carried out! But were are the schools and libraries? The books in the valuable library of the University were packed in boxes and then "lost." The old and successful "educational institutions for classic literature, science and morals" that won [Alexander] Humboldt's admiration, have been destroyed and never replaced. The loss of the manuscripts alone is irreparable. It is hard to hold to even an mild and pleasant vein of sarcasm in writing the truth about such things. But I have it not in heart to blame overmuch the probably quite respectful professional and business men of the American lodges. What did they know about Mexico beyond what they had been told? What did they know about the Church beyond the errors in a load of inherited prejudices? How could they have known that what had been said to them about both come from a Brother with the mentality of a slaver and the social instincts of a guttersnipe? Can anyone fail to note, in this connection, how straight is the line by which such calumnies have come down even to the present day? The revolutionists who fought in Mexico did not fight for any ideal of their own. Neither did they fight for Mexico. All they fought for was the ideal of Joel Roberts Poinsett. They continued his plan to weaken Mexico and, thus far, it has been succeeding. (Bishop Francis Clement Kelley, Blood-Drenched Altars, published originally in 1935 by the Bruce Publishing Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and republished by TAN Books and Publishers in 1987, pp. 170-171.)


Although For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, is indeed compelling, moving and inspirational, despite defects that will be mentioned, one glaring omission in it was any reference, perhaps even fleeting, to the simple fact that Plutarco Elias Calles, depicted very accurately as a cold-blooded killer and committed statist and anti-clericalist, was a Freemason, trained in his youth by an atheist uncle. Plutarco Elias Calles was the very embodiment of the spirit introduced into Mexico by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first American ambassador to Mexico, who had been appointed by President James Monroe in 1822 to be the American special envoy in that country, returning in 1825 under the administration of President John Quincy Adams as minister.

Silence in the Face of Evil Denounced by A Courageous Catholic Bishop

As depicted in For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, the Cristeros War began in 1926 following Plutarco Elias Calles's efforts to enforce with vigor the following anticlerical provisions of revolutionary Mexico's 1917 Constitution that will be appended below. It is apposite for the moment, however, to note the final provision in the section mandating the registration that all "ministers of denominations" be native-born Mexicans and that the number of such ministers in a municipality shall be regulated by the civil authorities there:

Trials for violation of the above provisions shall never be heard before a jury. (1917 Constitution of Revolutionary Mexico.)

If there is one thing that For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada does well--and it does many things well, it is the portrayal of the absolute arbitrariness and cold-blooded nature which which the agents of Plutarco Elias Calles, aided and abetted by his friends in the government of the United States of America who were more interested in forcing him to live up to agreements to protect the interests of American petroleum companies operating in Mexico. 

Dr. Michael Kenny explained in No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility how a courageous Mexican bishop exhibited the courage of a Saint Thomas a Becket and that of Saint John Fisher in serving as a clarion voice against the anticlerical dictatorship of Calles:

Though hating all Religion, Calles found it politic then to keep the American sects on his side. Notorious for affording friendly facilities to Protestant proselyters and frequently supplying them with temples and institutions of the Church that he was ruthlessly persecuting, Calles won enthusiastic support form the Baptist and Methodist and Protestant alliance, and anti-Saloon League, and the then pervasive Ku Klux Klan. It may be noted here that the Methodist convention at Birmingham, December, 1933, acclaimed a resolution commending the Daniels defense of Mexico's religious persecutors, though they have lost the political control of their membership that Mr. Daniels' friend, Bishop Cannon, once exercised.

Hence, while postponing confiscation of American properties for the moment, Calles continued recklessly the expulsion of foreign as well as native priests and religious, including Archbishop Caruana, Papal Delegate an American citizen, and extended nation-wide confiscation and spoilation of churches and religious institutions, with accompaniments of murder, desecration, rape, and other crimes and unprintable brutalities, that cover hundreds of pages in the records.

The more effectually to crush resistance, he issued June 14, 1926, supplementary decrees, so clamping down the 1917 Constitution that no religious institution may exist, no religious service may be held in family or home, and within the tolerated churches no priests may function except as the state permits and in the manner, measure, times, places, and numbers the state prescribes. Aided effectively by the Morones, he had these decrees executed with a brutal relentlessness that spared neither sex nor sanctuary nor cloister; and persons as well as all seizable property were ravished.

Then something new happened in Mexico. Living under the sword or the threat of for a century, Bishop and clergy had come to accept persecution without protest and welcome the slightest toleration as a gift; but in 1926 Bishop [José de Jesús] Manriquez of Huejutla issued a pastoral that was unique in Mexican allocutions.

Painting the outrages on human rights that the Calles hyper-Jacobism inflicts and the suicide which the Church's submission to State license for every act of ministry and worship and even of expression had involved, Bishop Manriquez summoned priests and people to defend their rights against this fury of outrage on their faith and manhood. Their failure therein was the source of their calamities. Not only was it an obvious lie that the Church had played politics; it was their culpable omission to take civic action on the principles and problems of good government for the welfare of their people had brought on them God's anger of which their persecutors are but the instruments.

Let them repair the omission; assert their citizenship; resist the destroyers of human rights, stand steadfast nor flee before the wolf; be martyrs, if need to be, for faith and freedom and go boldly to prison and to death. Let pastors of set examples of sacrifice to their flocks. If churches are closed make every home a sanctuary. If one school is seized, open another; and hold school under tents and trees if roofs be barred. By sacrifice of pleasure, by Christian virility. let young and old, but the young men foremost, fight God's battle; and never yield nor falter till every manacle of religion, education, and civic freedom be struck from Constitution and law. Thus will God lift His chastisement for their culpable sufferance of wrong and bring them from the catacombs to the sun of liberty. (Dr. Michael Kenny, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, William J. Hirten Company, Inc., New York, 1935, republished by CSG and Associates Publishes, pp. 102-104.)


History frequently repeats itself.

All but one Catholic bishop defected to King Henry VIII in 1534. Only thirty others remained faithful to the true Church at the time Henry's daughter by Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth I, took England out of Church for good thirty years ago.

Many bishops and priests in France succumbed to the edicts of the "Constitutional Church" established by the French Revolutionaries on July 12, 1790. Indeed, over three hundred priests attended the assembly that passed the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy."

It was, therefore, not surpsiing to find weaklings among the Catholic hierarchy in Mexico in the second, third and fourth decades of the Twentieth Century. Bishop Jose de Jesus Manriquez y Zarate, who was Bishop of Huejulta, Hidalgo, Mexico, from July 8, 1923, to July 1, 1939, had seen enough of the cowardice, enough of the years of quiet acceptance of a persecution that they knew to be unjust but did not seek to oppose. It was his call to true Catholic action in 1926 that finally stiffened the backbones of many of his brother bishops, something that Dr. Kenny explained in No God Next Door:

The imprisonment and cruel torture of the brave Bishop Manriquez burned his appeal into the heart of Mexico. The pleadings of Archbishop Moral, the ranking prelate, for the "liberty of conscience of thought, of worship, of teaching, association and of press that is the right of Christians, of citizens, and of man" had been summarily rejected by Calles in almost the words demanding Christ's death of Pilate: "We have a law."

Then, as now, Calles had his agents proclaim through the United States that these laws, which penalize every form of Christian worship and right, force Communist atheism and ethics on the youthful mind, are measures of enlightened social reform against clerical reactionaries. Petitions against them of over two million of voting age, showing the true mind of the Mexican people, were thrown out by his Congress without discussion, and Calles proceeded to confiscate schools, churches, convents, and hospitals, casting priests, sisters, and religious on the streets, often with accompaniment of murder and rape.

To give plausible color to this propaganda, Calles was careful to protect the persons and temples of non-Catholics ministers and of the less than a dozen priests who yielded to his laws; but he had all others of foreign birth deported, including Mother Sempe of the Visitation convent and many other Americans whose character and services shed lustre on their country.

President [John Calvin] Coolidge and Secretary [of State Frank Billings] Kellogg, who quickly secured redress from Calles for his tampering with American banking and mining interests by threatening an embargo and mining interests by threatening an embargo, took no notice of these outrages; and Mr. Kellogg coldly informed the United States Episcopate that he had handed over their protest to the Mexican Consulate, Calles' principal agency for mendacious propaganda. Outrages on the religious and most fundamental rights, even of his own nationals, was merely an internal affair beyond his competency; but violation of properties was a crime against international law.

Shorn of all home form their own government and from ours, the Mexican people hearkened to the call of Bishop Manriquez with a heroism worthy of his own. Declaring acceptance of Calles decrees apostasy, the Mexican Episcopate ordered suspension of Church services, July 31, 1926, the date of their enforcement; and young men and women of Mexico, forming a well-knit League of Religious Liberty, struck a practical blow at tyrants by an intensive boycott on luxuries and the articles yielding them the heaviest taxation. A fifty percent fail in revenue within the year was another proof of the hostility of the Mexican people to their armed minority Government, and also of their manhood in sacrificial devotion to Religion and Liberty.

They were to prove it by severer tests. Shot down or cast into foul dungeons, their leaders were promptly replaced by others equally effective, and Attorney General Ortega resorted to the foul device of outraging and formally ordering the penalty on the active young ladies of the League. It was such outrage on their women, accompanied by sacrilegious outrages on their priests and sanctuaries, that moved the unnamed fathers and sons and brothers seize arms where they could and rise in revolt. (Dr. Michael Kenny, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, William J. Hirten Company, Inc., New York, 1935, republished by CSG and Associates Publishes, pp. 105-107.)

These accounts provide those unfamiliar with the history of what led up to the Cristeros War just a little bit of the vast amount of information that had to be compressed into the space of a motion picture lasting one hundred-forty-three minutes. One can see also that that the producers, who based For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada on a book by a French author who had taken up Mexican citizenship after studying the courage of the Cristeros, whom he compared favorably to the brave fighters of the Vendee in France in the 1790s, got the essence of what led up to armed rebellion after all peaceful means to end the persecution had been rebuffed by Plutarco Elias Calles and his puppets in the Mexican Congress.

Dr. Kenny, who wrote six years after the United States-Vatican negotiated "truce" reopened Catholic churches in Mexico while Calles broke his word and continued the persecutions, explained some of the events at the beginning of rebellion in stirring terms:

When General Ortiz and federal forces shot down Father Batiz an four laymen in Zacatecas, desecrated the sanctuary, and raped the women of Valparaiso, Pedro Quintar gathered his neighbors together and extinguished the miscreants to a man. Thus started the Cristero revolt, which spread from State to State with spontaneity.

That the ensuing fight for liberty under the slogan, Viva Cristo Rey, was as heroic as history records will appear in our sketch of the 1926-1929 period. It was distinctively a lay movement. The Bishops' conciliatory policy had failed. They had been exiled or jailed, and hundreds of priests had been slain or hunted like felons.

Out of over 4,000 priests only ten are known to have taken Calles' bribe of high pay and luxurious living for joining his "National Church." Instead, the priests suffered poverty, hunger, and banishment, and often torture and death. But few of them, and much less the Episcopate, encourage recourse to arms. It was the Calles outrages that goaded the laity into what seemed hopeless resistance.

History repeats itself. A few of the like outrages of today [1935] have got into our papers. Indians, women as well as men, guarding their Church with folded arms in Chiapas, were shot down by the State soldiery. The Red Shirts of Cabinet Minister Canabal outraged many church services and shot down attendants at Mass in Coyoacan. In other another suburb of their capital, the police, January 12, "stormed a little church," leaving worshippers dying and dead; and Mayor Aaron Saenz put the blame on the people for flagrant violation of the law against church-going. Five thousand students who assembled in unarmed protest at the Red Shirts' headquarters were likewise attacked. These are but a few of the outrages that accompany the enforcement of decrees against law and liberty and the fundamentals of all decencies of civilization.

Nor are the rapings and the torturings of the Cristero period missing. Bisho Manriquez has written from his enforced exile in San Antonio that the men who will defend his mother with naked fists will even so avenge the sacrilegious violation of his religion, the Mother of all Sanctities. (Dr. Michael Kenny, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, William J. Hirten Company, Inc., New York, 1935, republished by CSG and Associates Publishes, pp. 107-108.)

The Mexican peasants who made up the bulk of the Cristeros were not fighting for the "religious liberty" of Modernity. They were fighting for the Social Reign of Christ the King under the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, understanding that it would be only in a country governed by Catholic principles of true religious toleration that their God-given right to worship the one and only true Faith would be not only respected but protected by a civil state desirous of fostering the common temporal good according to true eternal good of man. While they would have been content with a government not overtly hostile to the Faith as they had experienced in order to have the civil liberty to practice It in peace and while this may be all that could have been expected under the circumstances, the Cristeros from the villages and the small towns wanted Mexico restored to the glory of Christ the King and Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The Movie Itself

For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada certainly does convey a very accurate sense of the conflict that took place between the Mexican revolutionaries under Plutarco Elias Calles, whose upbringing has some parallels with that of one Barry Soetero (otherwise known as Barack Hussein Obama), and the Cristeros.

The Catholic Faith is portrayed in very reverential, respectful terms, and although the producers may not have been as hard on American policy-makers as the facts warrant them to be, they have nevertheless shown, albeit in a somewhat oblique manner, that it was the military assistance of the government of the United States of America that saved the day for the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Plutarco Elias Calles.

Of particular note in the early part of the film is the superb performance of Peter O'Toole who played King Henry II in both Becket and The Lion in Winter (1968) as Father Cristobal Magallenes Jara, who was "canonized" along with other Catholic martyrs of Mexico by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II on May 21, 2000. Although the depiction of the arrest and execution of Father Cristobal was not how it occurred in real life, O'Toole's sensitive yet manly performance captured the dignity of the Holy Priesthood, especially when counseling Father Reyes Vega, whose characterization in the movie combines the figures of the real Father Vega and another priest, Father Aristeo Pedroza, against taking up arms as a priest. Father Cristobal's kindness to the impish Jose Sanchez del Rio is very touching, reminiscent of how priests once used the gentleness of the Divine Redeemer Himself, Christ the King, to train boys to serve at the altar and to implant within their immortal souls the spark of a vocation to the priesthood.

Young Mauricio Kuri was simply outstanding as Jose Sanchez del Rio, who was in real life older than portrayed the movie when he was martyred in the exact manner shown in For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, the boy who came to join the Cristeros and died a heroic death in defense of "Cristo Rey!" and La Virgen de Guadalupe, refusing to "just say the words" urged on him by his Godfather, "Death to Christ the King. Long live the Federal Government." Although Jose, who was "beatified" by Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI on November 20, 2005, joined Cristero Army General Prudencio Mendoza and not General Enrique Gorostieta as shown with dramatic effect in the movie, he did carry the banner of La Virgen de Guadalupe and was captured when he gave his horse to another officer, General Ruben Guizar Morfin, not agrarian General Victoriano Ramírez (who was actually executed following n a trumped-up court-martial called when a man who is believed to have been a Federal spy accused the illiterate Ramirez of writing letters to a local Federal military chief). The scenes of Jose Sanchez del Rio's martyrdom ought to touch every Catholic heart with pride and exhilaration as it is what was displayed the Cristeros throughout their war with the Mexican revolutionaries and it is was has been displayed by Catholic martyrs ever since the stoning of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr at the hands of the Jews with whom he was debating.

The depiction of Father Jose Reyes Vega, although conflated with Father Aristeo Pedroza, who shared none of Vega's proclivities to drink and women and revenge, is pretty accurate. He was, if not an exemplary priest, a brilliant military tactician and he was responsible for the atrocity, motivated by his desire for revenge following the killing of his brother in battle, that took the lives of fifty-one innocent people on that train on April 19, 1927, for which Calles took, as displayed in the film, sadistic revenge of his own.

The hero of the film, and justly so, is General Enrique Gorostieta, played by actor Andy Garcia, whose work I have never seen before now because I do not frequent motion pictures and we do not have a television (although we do watch older films on DVDs now again; Lucy is a hard-core fan of the 1935-1948 Hopalong Cassidy films starring William Boyd, who later produced forty half-hour episodes for television in 1953-1954 at the height of "Hoppy-mania" among children my own own age). I was impressed. Not knowing what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will do, all I can say is that Mr. Garcia gave a performance certainly worthy of an Academy Award (so did Peter O'Toole and Mauricio Kuri for their supporting roles).

The producers got the portrayal of Enrique Gorostieta just about right. He was an atheist. He believed at first that a return to the 1857 "noninterference" policies of Mexico dictator Benito Juarez would provide the "religious freedom" necessary to preserve the rights of Catholics before coming to recognize that the fight in which was engaged was a matter of preserving the Catholic Faith of his youth. This is how he expressed himself at the time he was confronted shortly before his death on June 2, 1929, with the agreement that had been produced as a result of Vatican negotiations with the Calles regime:

Liberty has been proscribed, and the National Guard [i.e., the Cristeros] has been constituted to defend all liberties. Its vitality must be ascribed to the fact that it represents the people in a genuine manner. . . . The foregoing and other considerations that we will not enumerate authorize us to demand, not to petition, that the solution of the problem be left to us, the Mexican people who wish and are determined to be Catholic, who have demonstrated to the entire world that in defense of their religion they are generous with their blood, their money, and their dearest interests, in spite of the selfish apathy of the wealthy aristocracy and the intellectuals, be left unhampered to struggle for the recovery of their freedom.

Let the bishops have their patience; let them not despair that the day will arrive when we summon them in company with our priests to return and carry on their sacred mission in a nation of free men. The voice of our martyred dead commands us to carry on! (As quoted in Robert Royal, Catholic Martyrs of the Twentieth Century, Crossroad Publishing Company, New York, 2000, p. 32.)


Dr. Kenny provided another piece of evidence of the fact that Enrique Gorostieta had become convinced that he was fighting just for "religious liberty" in Mexico but for Christ the King Himself:

This was precisely the view of the Cirstero leaders whose hold on the great central states was firmest in 1929. Their unconquered forces were then presenting a serious menace to Callism; and they deemed the negotiations a Calles trick to escape it. General Gorostieta sent to Archbishop Ruiz on May 16, 1929, a vigorous protest that reports of parleying with Callism were bringing to the men under arms a chill of death far worse than the perils they had faced. It was but the device of a government dripping with blood to get their National Guard of twenty thousand effectives to surrender the had wrested from the government, which had flouted two million signatures and consented to negotiate only when confronted with arms. Once the arms are laid down they will again flout Episcopate and the people. It is the National Guard that must solve the problem, which is not solely a religious one but embraces all liberties. National Guard alone watches over all the interests of the people form whom it has sprung, and its arms are their only guarantee of justice.

Could the Bishops, Gorostieta added, have remained with their people and given them undivided support in this obligatory battle for their liberties the tyrants' power would have long ago been shattered. Nevertheless, the national army, poor in armament but rich in military virtue, is fighting with greater success each day, determined to recover the liberties of their people, and they have fixed as their objective not the empty promises of treacherous tyrants but unconditional capitulation:

"Material resources we can ourselves obtain. We ask the Episcopate to furnish the moral force that will make us invincible, by counseling a virile, united attitude proper of Christians, not of slaves. Are we not bound together by the blood of two hundred martyred priests and thousands of other martyrs?"

As representing an important section of the great Institution, they govern, Gorostieta requested the Bishop to present this petition to the Holy Father [Pope Pius XI] in the hope of terminating the prevalent confusion and empowering the National Guard to win its fight for God, Fatherland, and Liberty. ( (Dr. Michael Kenny, No God Next Door: Red Rule in Mexico and Our Responsibility, William J. Hirten Company, Inc., New York, 1935, republished by CSG and Associates Publishes, pp. 141-142.)

The Mexican bishops, Dr. Michael Kenny explained, had to consider the spiritual good of the people, most of whom had been without the Sacraments for nearly three years. The American government had placed an embargo on the shipment of arms or other assistance to the Cristeros and were actively supporting the Calles regime, which is what turned the military tide in its favor.

Nevertheless, however, General Enrique Gorostieta's letter to Archbishop Pascal Ruiz y Barreto, S..J., proved to be prophetic in light of the fact that the Calles regime the puppet regimes, starting with that of President Portes Gil, that he, Calles, supervised after leaving office broke its promises and continued to slaughter the Cristeros and to persecute faithful Catholics throughout the 1930s, something that prompted British author Graham Greene to write The Power and the Glory, a novelized account of the continued anti-Catholic persecutions of the Mexican revolutionaries, and a factual account based on his being an eyewitness to the events he documented, The Lawless Roads, in 1939.

By the way, Enrique Gorostieta died clutching a crucifix after the cascade of bullets had mortally wounded him. He did come to believe in more than civil and religious freedom. He came to believe in that which makes men truly free, the Catholic Faith, and he was a brave warrior in behalf of Christ the King.

Criticisms and One Glaring Omission

Display of Violence: Some in our increasingly narrow circle of friends and acquaintances have objected to For Greater Glory: The True Story of the Cristiada on the grounds of its graphic display of violence. I will concede that some of it may be gratuitous, done only because the technology is available to produce the kinds of special effects that movie-going audiences seem to expect. However, I argue to the contrary that the depiction of violence could have been far more graphic. To wit, none of the many bodily assaults that the revolutionary Mexican soldiers committed on women were shown in any form.

War is very brutal. It is my noninfallible view that Catholics, many of whom have become so desensitized to the daily slaughter of the preborn by surgical and chemical means, have to be awakened with the stark reality that the spirit of Plutarco Elias Calles lives on today in the halls of the American government, starting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the City of Washington, District of Columbia. The day for such martyrdom is coming here to the United States of America. We had better be ready to die for the Holy Faith if the authorities come to round us up for refusing to believe in their conception of "progress."

Immodesty: While relatively tame in comparison to the licentiousness that is accepted by film-goers today and inserted into the movie to establish the scene wherein bullets drop from a member of the Legion of Joan of Arc's undergarments while on train, it was, I believe, unnecessary to insert the images of women in their underwear hiding ammunition. It is a brief scene. It could have been alluded to in a different manner.

Novus Ordo Influences: The producers did have priests (or, more likely, conciliar presbyters) on the movie set, the influence of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo liturgical service detracted from the film's authenticity. Yes, there were scenes of Father Jose Reyes Vega with his back to the people saying the Canon of the Mass in Latin. The actor portraying Father Vega also used an oversized host, something that is used in the Novus Ordo, not in the Immemorial Mass Tradition, and he the Cristeros were offered Holy Communion by him as he recited the English translation of (Corpus Domini Nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternum, Amen) as they were standing. What's the big deal about using the Latin in the script? It's simple enough to learn and memorize. And, of course, the Cristeros received Holy Communion on their knees even in the outdoor areas where Holy Mass was offered for them. They were not "modern" Catholics.

Finally, and perhaps there was no way or, again more probably, thought, of camouflaging the Novus Ordo Cranmer table shown near the movie's beginning after the announcement of the Mexican bishops' decision to suspend church services had been made.

What Happened to Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J.?: For reasons that may have everything to do with the continued "sensitivity" of Mexican officials about the Plutarco Elias Calles-ordered assassination of Father Miguel Augustin Pro, S.J., on November 23, 1927, the producers saw fit to make not one reference in the movie to this well-known and well-loved Mexican martyr whose execution prompted many to join the Cristero cause. Yes, those who go to watch the movie and who stay for the full listing of the credits following its end will see a brief cinematic reenactment of Father Pro's martyrdom without having it labeled as such. Why the cloak and dagger about this great martyr, who simply brought the Sacraments to the starving Catholics of Mexico, a contemporary Father Edmund Campion, S.J.?

All of this having been noted, however, For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada is a remarkable accomplishment. As readers who have been following my writing and who have attended my lectures over the decades know that, despite my many sins, faults and the very public mistakes that I have made, I do have an abiding love and commitment to Christ the King and His Most Blessed Mother, she who is the Empress of the Americas under the title of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Virgen de Guadalupe. To hear shouts of Viva Cristo Rey! exclaimed over and over again is, for me, is worth the price of admission by itself, noting that no Catholic in his right mind can sit through the diabolical "previews" before it begins (you can wait for about ten to twelve minutes before entering the theater to see the beginning of the film after the previews have ended). It simply stirs the depth of my own Catholic soul to hear these words, no less to hear them inside of a movie theater. Viva Cristo Rey!

For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada does so much more than this, however.

The bravery of the Cristeros, especially that of Jose Sanchez del Rio, and that of Anacleto Gonzalez Flores, who was at first opposed to armed resistance before recognizing that there was no reasoning with Plutarco Elias Calles and his regime, and the conversion of Enrique Gorostieta are indeed very moving.

One reader of this site wrote to me to say that he had gone with his wife an her sister and their brother-in-law to see the film. The two women were from the very City of Sahuayo in the State of Michoacan, Mexico. They cried in unison as they saw the martyrdom of their hometown hero, who did indeed make the Sign of the Cross in his own blood on the dirt where he was dying. I have tears in my eyes recalling the scene. Every Catholic should have such tears as it shows us that, no matter the problems we face, whether ecclesiastically or civilly, all that matters is that we persevere to the end and refuse to make even the slightest compromise with any kind of error to "save" ourselves.

Although other than showing Rosaries displayed on the necks of the characters and images of La Virgen de Guadalupe on banners there were no true references to Marian devotion in For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, this is perhaps more than compensated for by the image of her that is displayed during the "crawl" of the closing credits. Yes, one picture can indeed be worth more than a thousand words.

Part two of this four part series will, as noted earlier, focus on the treachery of American officials as they gave support to Calles. It will also focus on the indifference of many Catholics, including bishops, in the United States of America to the plight of their suffering co-religionists in Mexico.

We must do our part to make sure that they are reclaimed for Christ the King and Our Lad of Guadalupe, and that the seeds be planted for the restoration of Christendom in the Americas.

There was once a Christendom in the Americas. It flourished. Souls prospered. This angered the devil, who attacked the Cross of the Divine Redeemer with fury in Latin America and who made sure that it would not be planted in the United States of America and Canada (after the Battle of Montreal in 1763) as a result of the Protestant Revolt and the so-called age of the Enlightenment.

As noted before, the devil is powerless. He has schemes. He can implement them all he wants. We have the power to thwart them if only we rely upon the woman who made possible our salvation by her perfect Fiat to the will of the Heavenly Father at the Annunciation, the woman who appeared to Juan Diego with the unborn Baby Jesus in the tabernacle of her Virginal and Immaculate Womb, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Our Lady told Juan Diego the following on December 9, 1531:

Know and understand well, you the most humble of my son, that I am the ever virgin Holy Mary, Mother of the True God for whom we live, of the Creator of all things, Lord of heaven and the earth. I wish that a temple be erected here quickly, so I may therein exhibit and give all my love, compassion, help, and protection, because I am your merciful mother, to you, and to all the inhabitants on this land and all the rest who love me, invoke and confide in me; listen there to their lamentations, and remedy all their miseries, afflictions and sorrows. And to accomplish what my clemency pretends, go to the palace of the bishop of Mexico, and you will say to him that I manifest my great desire, that here on this plain a temple be built to me; you will accurately relate all you have seen and admired, and what you have heard. Be assured that I will be most grateful and will reward you, because I will make you happy and worthy of recompense for the effort and fatigue in what you will obtain of what I have entrusted. Behold, you have heard my mandate, my humble son; go and put forth all your effort.” (Our Lady Of Guadalupe | Relation of the Apparitions.)


Our Lady told the privileged seer the following on this day, December 12, in the year 1531:

Hear me and understand well, my son the least, that nothing should frighten or grieve you. Let not your heart be disturbed. Do not fear that sickness, nor any other sickness or anguish. Am I not here, who is your Mother? Are you not under my protection? Am I not your health? Are you not happily within my fold? What else do you wish? Do not grieve nor be disturbed by anything. Do not be afflicted by the illness of your uncle, who will not die now of it. be assured that he is now cured." (Our Lady Of Guadalupe | Relation of the Apparitions.)


Can we not take comfort in these words, being inspired by them to trust Our Immaculate Mother and Queen as never before, praying as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit? Can we not offer her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart all of our sufferings and sorrows and humiliations and penances and mortifications to given by her to the Most Sacred Heart of her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for the good of souls?

The state of the world depends upon the state of our souls. As we continue to celebrate the Octave of Corpus Christi and prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on Friday, June 15, 2012, may we avail ourselves more frequently of the Sacrament of Penance and receive Our Lord in Holy Communion more fervently at Masses offered by true bishops and true priests who make no concessions to conciliarism or to the nonexistent legitimacy of its false shepherds, recognizing that our next reception of Holy Communion might be our last reception of Holy Communion.

In other words, reclaiming the Americas for Christ the King and Our Lady Guadalupe depends upon us. What are we waiting for?

May the words that were exclaimed by the Catholic martyrs of Mexico and of Spain, those words that were uttered by Father Miguel Augustin Pro eighty years ago on November 23, 1927, be ever on our lips as we pledge our hearts anew each day to Christ the King and Mary our Immaculate Queen:

Viva Cristo Rey!

Yes, my few readers, then, now and always: Viva Cristo Rey!


Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.

Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.

Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.

Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.

Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.

Saint Barnabas, pray for us.

See also: A Litany of Saints


Anticlerical Provisions of the 1917 Constitution of Revolutionary Mexico

Article 3.(1) The education imparted by the Federal State shall be designed to develop harmoniously all the faculties of the human being and shall foster in him at the
same time a love of country and a consciousness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.

   I.Freedom of religious beliefs being guaranteed by Article 24, the standard which shall guide such education shall be maintained entirely apart from any religious
     doctrine and, based on the results of scientific progress, shall strive against ignorance and its effects, servitudes, fanaticism, and prejudices. Moreover:
        a.It shall be democratic, considering democracy not only as a legal structure and a political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant
          economic, social, and cultural betterment of the people;
        b.It shall be national insofar as -- without hostility or exclusiveness -it shall achieve the understanding of our problems, the utilization of our resources, the
          defense of our political independence, the assurance of our economic independence, and the continuity and growth of our culture; and
        c.It shall contribute to better human relationships, not only with the elements which it contributes toward strengthening and at the same time inculcating,
          together with respect for the dignity of the person and the integrity of the family, the conviction of the general interest of society, but also by the care
          which it devotes to the ideals of brotherhood and equality of rights of all men, avoiding privileges of race, creed, class, sex, or persons.
   II.Private persons may engage in education of all kinds and grades. But as regards elementary, secondary, and normal education (and that of any kind or grade
     designed for laborers and farm workers) they must previously obtain, in every case, the express authorization of the public power. Such authorization may be
     refused or revoked by decisions against which there can be no judicial proceedings or recourse.
  III.Private institutions devoted to education of the kinds and grades specified in the preceding section must be without exception in conformity with the provisions
     of sections I and II of the first paragraph of this article and must also be in harmony with official plans and programs.
  IV.Religious corporations, ministers of religion, stock companies which exclusively or predominantly engage in educational activities, and associations or
     companies devoted to propagation of any religious creed shall not in any way participate in institutions giving elementary, secondary and normal education and
     education for laborers or field workers.
  V.The State may in its discretion withdraw at any time the recognition of official validity of studies conducted in private institutions.
  VI.Elementary education shall be compulsory. . . .

Article 3.(1) The education imparted by the Federal State shall be designed to develop harmoniously all the faculties of the human being and shall foster in him at the
same time a love of country and a consciousness of international solidarity, in independence and justice.

   I.Freedom of religious beliefs being guaranteed by Article 24, the standard which shall guide such education shall be maintained entirely apart from any religious
     doctrine and, based on the results of scientific progress, shall strive against ignorance and its effects, servitudes, fanaticism, and prejudices. Moreover:
        a.It shall be democratic, considering democracy not only as a legal structure and a political regimen, but as a system of life founded on a constant
          economic, social, and cultural betterment of the people;
        b.It shall be national insofar as -- without hostility or exclusiveness -it shall achieve the understanding of our problems, the utilization of our resources, the
          defense of our political independence, the assurance of our economic independence, and the continuity and growth of our culture; and
        c.It shall contribute to better human relationships, not only with the elements which it contributes toward strengthening and at the same time inculcating,
          together with respect for the dignity of the person and the integrity of the family, the conviction of the general interest of society, but also by the care
          which it devotes to the ideals of brotherhood and equality of rights of all men, avoiding privileges of race, creed, class, sex, or persons.
   II.Private persons may engage in education of all kinds and grades. But as regards elementary, secondary, and normal education (and that of any kind or grade
     designed for laborers and farm workers) they must previously obtain, in every case, the express authorization of the public power. Such authorization may be
     refused or revoked by decisions against which there can be no judicial proceedings or recourse.
  III.Private institutions devoted to education of the kinds and grades specified in the preceding section must be without exception in conformity with the provisions
     of sections I and II of the first paragraph of this article and must also be in harmony with official plans and programs.
  IV.Religious corporations, ministers of religion, stock companies which exclusively or predominantly engage in educational activities, and associations or
     companies devoted to propagation of any religious creed shall not in any way participate in institutions giving elementary, secondary and normal education and
     education for laborers or field workers.
  V.The State may in its discretion withdraw at any time the recognition of official validity of studies conducted in private institutions.
  VI.Elementary education shall be compulsory. . . .


    The law does not recognize any personality in religious groups called churches.

     Ministers of denominations shall be considered as persons who practice a profession and shall be directly subject to the laws enacted on such matters.

     Only the legislatures of the States shall have the power to determine the maximum number of ministers of denominations necessary for local needs.

     To practice the ministry of any denomination in the United Mexican States it is necessary to be a Mexican by birth.

     Ministers of denominations may never, in a public or private meeting constituting an assembly, or in acts of worship or religious propaganda, criticize the
     fundamental laws of the country or the authorities of the Government, specifically or generally. They shall not have an active or passive vote nor the right to
     form associations for religious purposes.

     Permission to dedicate new places of worship open to the public must be obtained from the Secretariat of Government, with previous consent of the
     government of the State. There must be in every church building a representative who is responsible to the authorities for compliance with the laws on religious
     worship in such building, and for the objects pertaining to the worship.

     The representative of each church building, jointly with ten other residents of the vicinity, shall inform the municipal authorities immediately who is the person in
     charge of the church in question. Any change of ministry must be reported by the departing minister in person, accompanied by the new incumbent and ten
     other residents. The municipal authority, under penalty of removal from office and a fine of up to one thousand pesos for each violation, shall see that this
     provision is complied with; under the same penalty, he shall keep one registry book of church buildings and another of the representatives in charge. The
     municipal authority shall give notice to the Secretariat of Government, through the governor of the State, of every permit to open a new church building to the
     public, or of any changes among representatives in charge. Donations in the form of movable objects shall be kept in the interior of church buildings.

     No privilege shall be granted or confirmed, nor shall any other step be taken which has for its purpose the validation in official courses of study, of courses
     pursued in establishments devoted to the professional training of ministers of religion. Any authority who violates this provision shall be criminally liable, and the
     privilege or step referred to shall be void and shall thereby cause the voidance of the professional degree for the attainment of which the violation of this
     provision was made.

     Periodical publications of a religious character, whether they be such because of their program, title, or merely because of their general tendencies, may not
     comment on national political matters or public information on acts of the authorities of the country or of private persons directly related to the functioning of
     public institutions .

     The formation of any kind of political group, the name of which contains any word or indication whatever that it is related to any religious denomination, is
     strictly prohibited. Meetings of a political character may not be held in places of worship.

     A minister of any denomination may not himself or through an intermediary inherit or receive any real property occupied by any association for religious
     propaganda or for religious or charitable purposes. Ministers of denominations are legally incapacitated as testamentary heirs of ministers of the same
     denomination or of any private person who is not related to them within the fourth degree.

     The acquisition by private parties of personal or real property owned by the clergy or by religious organizations shall be governed by Article 27 of this

     Trials for violation of the above provisions shall never be heard before a jury. (1917 Constitution of Revolutionary Mexico.)





© Copyright 2012, Thomas A. Droleskey. All rights reserved.