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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

A Lesson for Our Modern Politicians from A Man for All Seasons

I love this scene from A Man for All Seasons. It reminds me of the biblical question of Joshua. "Whom will you serve? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Think of the impact if all our Catholic politicians imitated Joshua instead of Judas.

Wolsey tries to get Thomas More to help facilitate Henry VIII's divorce from Catherine. He refuses, "No, Your Grace, I'm not going to help you." More, a layman, refuses to help Wolsey, a cardinal of the Church, apply pressure on the Holy See for "state reasons."

But what comes next in the film is even more powerful and applies to our politicians, particularly the Catholics, today. 

"England needs an heir," Wolsey says, no matter what necessary measures, though regrettable, must be taken. The conversation continues:
Wosey: Explain how you, as chancellor of England can obstruct these measures for the sake of your own private conscience.

More: Well, I think when statesmen forsake their own private conscience for the sake of their public duties, they lead their country by a short route to chaos. (pauses) And we shall have my prayers to fall back on. 

Wolsey: (smiling)'d like that wouldn't you - to govern the country with prayer.

More: (seriously) Yes I should.
Wolsey: I'd like to be there when you try.

Since John Kennedy became the first Catholic president, we've seen many Catholic politicians put affairs of the state above their duties to God. Kennedy assured the voters he would never let his faith interfere with his politics. John Kerry, advocate for abortion, did the same when he ran for president in 2004. Catholic Democrats constantly assure us that deep-sixing their faith to champion moral evils is no problemo. And they prove it by their sacrilegious Communions, their slander and detraction and their commitment to advancing repugnant moral evils.

From bad Catholic to worse

It would be good to remind them of another scene in A Man for All Seasons. Wolsey is being brought back to London to the Tower, but his entourage stops at an abbey since the cardinal is dying. His last words in the film are similar to the real words he spoke on his deathbed. These were recorded by historians: 

“If I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”

Let us not be like Cardinal Wolsey and put the will of man above the will of God. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?


newguy40 said...

Man, that is such a great movie with so many great actors and actresses. I love Orson Welles as Wolsey. Welles could be quite hammie in alot of his roles ie The Stranger. But he does the ailing and suffering Wolsey with more facial expressions than body and words. This along with Song of Bernadette I watch when ever I can. What do you think of "The Mission".

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

I thought Jeremy Irons was absolutely fabulous in THE MISSION! Such a sad time in history. Just thinking about the ending gives me chills. We don't see many like that any more. Although I'm thankful for the independent studios that are putting out good religious films. Mel Gibson led the way!