The Wind That Shakes the Barley
- Catholic priest preching politics in The Wind That Shakes the Barley
I saw a post today at dotCommonweal that has a Kansas City bishop stating more of less that if one votes for Obama, they'll go to hell. This election is the first one in which I've noticed the Church being so involved in politics, but of course it always has been ..... one of my history teachers used to say, for instance, that Cardinal Richelieu was the best king France never had :)
Today, as I looked through movie speeches at American Rhetoric, I saw one given by a Catholic priest in the movie The Wind That Shakes the Barley, a 2006 film set during the Irish War of Independence (1919–21) and the Irish Civil War (1922–23). The movie, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of two County Cork brothers who join the Irish Republican Army to fight for Irish independence from Great Britain. Here you can watch a video of a scene in the movie in which the village priest preaches in favor of the peace treaty with Britain (BTW, Roger Ebert gave the film 4 stars - you can read his review here).
I couldn't copy and paste the video, so here below is the text of the scene ....
Catholic Priest: I never thought I'd see the day: military courts established in Ireland by Irishmen; deportation or the death penalty for those caught with arms. In the name of God, what is going on?
I found this on the street during the week:
Under the Republic, the lands of the Aristocracy who live in luxury in London will be seized and divided up against landless workers and small farmers. All industry and agriculture will be controlled by the State for the workers' and famers' benefit.
Not content with stealing your savings, they'll be nationalizing the 12 Apostles next.
My dear brethren, we have an opportunity for the first time in generations in this country for peace and prosperity. We have that opportunity without English soldiers marching up and down our streets and outside our churches on a Sunday morning. We have that opportunity because we have signed a treaty -- a treaty of peace.
[Murmuring in the congregation]
Catholic Priest: Quiet. Let me remind those of you who have forgotten of the pastoral letter signed by Cardinal Logue and other Bishops. Anti-Treatyite irregulars have, and I quote:
...wrecked Ireland from end to end, and all those who participate in such crimes are guilty of the gravest sins and may not be absolved in confession, nor admitted to Holy Communion.
In other words: excommunication.
And this opinion of the treaty is not just the opinion of the Catholic Church. It is the opinion of other churches. And it is the opinion of every newspaper up and down and the length and breadth of this country. But most importantly, this treaty was ratified -- overwhelmingly ratified -- by the people in their democratic expression in the June election.
Damien: Can you tell me, Father, how there can be a fair election in this country when the most powerful country in the world threatens war? This is not the will of the people; it is the fear of the people.
Catholic Priest: How dare you talk to me in the house of God.
[More murmuring in the congregation]
Catholic Priest: Silence! Damien O'Donovan, you're a disgrace to the memory of your parents. Yes, get out!
Congregation Member: The Free-State Constitution was only printed the morning of the election. So nobody had time to --
Catholic Priest: Young lady, this is not the marketplace. Sit down! Shut up! Or get out my church!
Damien: And once again, the Catholic Church, with honorable exception, sides with the rich.
Catholic Priest: Get out!!
I don't really know what to make of all the Church/State intertwining but it does make things interesting.