How well I remember the brilliant sunlight and bitter chill as my mother purchased movie tickets on that late December day in Manhattan in 1966.
How well I remember the brilliant sunlight and bitter chill as my mother purchased movie tickets on that late December day in Manhattan in 1966. To this day, Paul Scofield’s portrayal of St. Thomas Moore remains etched into my consciousness. As an eleven year old, I was captivated by this hero of conscience who spoke truth to power and died as a martyr. In honor of this great saint’s June 22nd feast day, we feature “A Man for All Seasons.” Talk about summer viewing – this one’s a must see! Here is the epic battle of wills between King Henry VIII and his Chancellor (More) over the king’s divorce of Catherine of Aragon, marriage to Anne Boleyn and assumption of control of the Church in England. But, be prepared for serious reflection along with the popcorn. A recent magazine column (“America,” 6/21/10) by Jesuit Father John Kavanaugh urged reflection on the role of conscience in the Catholic Christian tradition. He emphasized our obligation to weigh competing arguments, information and evidence in moral decision-making. Blind acceptance of others’ assertions sidesteps the hard work of conscience formation. St. Thomas More’s understanding of the Magna Carta and its provision of non-interference in church affairs by the crown, informed his conscience about the hot-button issue of his day. Only our considered understanding of immigration and health insurance reforms, abortion, homelessness and capital punishment will enable us to act as moral agents. St. Thomas embraced the cross of Christ in his resistance to prevailing moral acquiescence. He endures as a faithful gospel witness. During imprisonment, his heart overflowed with thankfulness to our dear Lord. To his beloved daughter, Margaret, he wrote: “His grace has strengthened me until now and made me content to lose goods, land and life as well, rather than to swear against my conscience.” This 120 minute DVD is presented in English with optional French and/or Portuguese subtitles. Use the on-line Order Form and request this title or search related resources with the key word: conscience @ https://www.orlandodiocese.org/media_center/media_center.php or call Dan Hardester or Diane Gallagher@ 407-246-4895 (or 4897). If you’re interested in summer listening as well as summer viewing, request the CD set, “Catholic Social Teaching,” with Professor of Moral Theology, Fr. Thomas Massaro.