Blood Drenched Altars: A Catholic Commentary (Excerpt from The Book)

This tragedy, involving the Mexican Government and the Cristeros, has been played on many stages.  By a multitude of different backgrounds.  In all the languages of men.  By a host of understudies whose souls were in tune with hers.

Christopher Hollis, in his ‘Thomas More’, has unveiled one of these tragedies for the understanding of men and women of the English tradition.

Speaking of the effects of More’s execution on the English nation he wrote:  They killed holiness.

Before that collosal fact …that they killed holiness … all the excuses and the explanations fade into nothingness.images 9.jpg

They Killed Holiness!!!

It is the mark of a Christian Saint that he possesses the imagination that jumps back across a thousand or two thousand years of history.  His whole life is lived under an excitement similar to that of the first disciples when they first heard the amazing news that the Tomb was empty.  To him that news is so amazing that he never forgets to be surprised at it.  He never comes to take it for granted that Christ died for him.

The news is so important that it is mere madness to give one’s mind to any other business and thus neglect it.  Such a man was Thomas More – a man of the world, a lawyer, and a statesman, but one to whom law and statesmanship were important only in so far as they could be used to further the purposes of Christ.

There was not room in England for such a man and the Tudor state.  No one can write about Mexico without writing the tragedies of many Mores.

If there was no room in the Tudor estate for even one Thomas More, there is no room in the Calles state for the many of Mexico.  If there is no room for them, there is no room for the Church.

She is always in the wings.  Another arm may lower the curtain but, since history repeats itself, her arm will raise it again.  For the Church can never go out of Mexico any more than a mother can go out of the life of her child.

A struggle against religion is a struggle against the incomprehensible and unreachable.  It is a struggle against the spirit in its most intimate and profound form and it is now proved that in this struggle the arms of the State, even the strongest, do not succeed in inflicting mortal blows on the Church which comes out triumphantly from the hardest of tests.

adoring_angels.jpg    The state cannot be victorious against the incomprehsible and unreachable.

The state can be victorious only in conflict with another State.  It can then conclude its victory by pressing a change of regime, for instance, a territorial cession or the disarming of any army, or other earthly things. The state can not be victorious against the incomprehensible and unreachable.

drawn from ‘Blood drenched Altars’  A History of Catholicism in Mexico by Reverend Francis Kelly