Yesterday the movie “For Greater Glory” debuted in U.S. theaters, which include nearby Fresno Stadium 21 and Manchester Mall 16. The film tells the widely forgotten story of Mexican resistance to a nation’s attempt to suppress Catholicism.
While it is a tale of heroes, it also features more flawed characters such as a Catholic priest, the Rev. Jose Reyes Vega, who fought in the war against the government of Mexico. Of the 4,500 priests in Mexico at the start of its persecution, Vega and one other, the Rev. Aristeo Pedroza, became generals and perhaps three others joined the fight.
The church itself wanted a peaceful solution and worked to end the conflict. Moreover, its Code of Canon Law prohibits those who voluntarily murder anyone from being ordained or exercising the ministries of a clergyman. While killing combatants in a just defensive war would not be considered murder, at least one incident of the war may have crossed that line, and it involved a priest.
It would be the worst outrage committed by those who rebelled against Mexico’s persecution of Catholicism — the Cristeros...