Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict
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Monday, 8 July 2013

For Greater Glory

For Greater Glory has finally hit Netflix and being the frugal sort I am, I have waited until now to see it. No local showing of the film has come to my attention so I was glad of this opportunity. To be honest, it is probably closer in spirit to the martyr stories circulated in the early church than to anything modern. Naturally this would strike a chord with even the most jaded Catholics but be somewhat alien to those outside our tradition. Unfortunately some background in the history of the Cristiada is necessary in order to understand what is going on. The story is somewhat loosely held together, being more a series of episodes rather than a coherent whole. The point of view shifts somewhat... perhaps a more Hollywood treatment might have been to keep to Jose's story. The martyrdoms were particularly poignant and hit home when they showed actual footage and stills of some of them in the closing credits. It is a profoundly Catholic film which explains some of the critical response. It is also a story which resonates with the living memory of some, particularly in the Latino community, which explains its enthusiastic reception in Los Angeles. If you are Catholic you will likely be moved by this film but if you are not then you may lack some of the cultural framework necessary to really appreciate it. As a rallying point for beleaguered Catholics who need some encouragement these days it is useful, and after all that is what the old martyr literature was for. However, as an evangelistic tool it lacks some of the back story needed to flesh things out.

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