Manly Movies

Manly Movie Moment: Becket Excommunicates Lord Gilbert

Exif_JPEG_PICTURESt. Thomas Becket was a man in search of honor. Throughout his early life, he was consumed by ambition and was a consummate politician. He was best friends with king Henry II of England, and his political skill strengthened the king’s reign immensely.

But when king Henry appointed St. Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury for his own political purposes, Becket became a changed man. For the first time in his life, he found something bigger than himself—something worth fighting for. His political ambitions evaporated, and he no longer cared for anything except defending the honor of Christ and his Church. While he strove to remain a faithful servant and friend of the king, his loyalties were put to the test when Lord Gilbert, a nobleman who was also friends with the king, captured and unjustly killed a priest. St. Thomas courageously chose to defend the rights of the Church in defiance of the king, excommunicating the rogue nobleman.

In the following powerful scene from the movie Becket, which I highly recommend, St. Thomas lays the ecclesiastical smack down on Lord Gilbert, cutting him off from the sacraments and for all practical purposes condemning him to hell for his unrepentant disobedience. Yes, they believed the sacraments were necessary for salvation back then, and we should too.

I could think of a few politicians that deserve this, but I won’t go there.


13 thoughts on “Manly Movie Moment: Becket Excommunicates Lord Gilbert

  1. The only problem I have with Becket is the scantily clad women and the inappropriate behavior of the king which happens in the first part of the movie. It is unwise to subject my sons to that kind of imagery, but the rest of the movie is great.

  2. I’m not a historian. (But, play one on TV… 🙂 But, from what I have read, Becket before his elevation by Henry was a pious man. It’s hard to picture Becket sexual dalliances as shown by this movie. Becket was known to wear a hair shirt and scourge himself as well. It’s very difficult to know what was going on in Becket’s head at the time. Even contemporaries commented on his change especially his resignation as chancellor.

    There a a couple of choice scenes from Paul Scofield in A Man for All Seasons that could easily apply here. There are several scenes in The Mission that could also be added. Rodrigo’s conversion. The final scene with Fr Gabriel eucharistic benediction while they are being killed and especially Rodrigo’s reading of I Corinthians 13. I’d also add the scene in Passion where Jesus reminices about a very simple yet very moving recolleciton of his time with his Mother.

  3. A great film, and a truly great Saint. I agree wholeheartedly about the film “The Cardinal.” The truth is that Cardinal Faulhaber had to be “encouraged” by Pope Pius XII to take a stance against the Anschlus and Nazi atrocities. Unfortunately this is one of the many truth’s of Pope Pius’s opposition to Nazi ideology that the secular media and society choose to ignore!

  4. You may not go there , but allow me. I find it astonishing that the Bishops and Archbishops of America have not excommunicated Pelosi and Biden. They wave their Catholicism like flags while deliberately and egregiously advocating gay marriage and baby-killing, and deceiving all Americans as to what Catholic Doctrine actually is and means. They increase protestant suspicion of Catholics. They are a disgrace to all Catholics, America and God.

    Pray for them.

    I am unsure about the permanence of excommunication. I can quite well understand its impact but Grace must be permitted to work, should God give it, and repentance should be encouraged so that the person can be brought back into the Body of Christ. Christ is the Ultimate Judge in these matters.

    As to the film: by the Lord Harry, Burton is a hammy actor. Hahaha. And did you get the right King Henry?? 🙂

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