Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Nothing Better than a Noble Failure

Cardinal Altamira (to Father Gabriel, concerning the politics over the fate of the Jesuit reductions): ... I assure you that the courts of Europe are a jungle in comparison with which your jungle here is a tidy garden.

Don Hontar (during a visit at the San Miguel mission): ... your Christian community is commercially competitive.

Cardinal Altamira: Yes, it's very prosperous. Isn't that precisely why you want to take it over?

Don Hontar: No, you should've achieved a noble failure if you wanted the approval of the state. There's nothing we like better than a noble failure.

Father Gabriel (to Father Rodrigo, on the eve of the destruction of the San Carlos mission): If might is right then love has no place in the world. It may be so but I don't have the strength to live in a world like that ...

Don Hontar (after the Portuguese massacre at, and the razing of, the San Carlos mission): You had no alternative, your Eminence. We must work in the world. The world is thus.

Cardinal Altamira: No, Señor Hontar, thus have we made the world. Thus I have made it.

Source: The Mission (1986)

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