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    AmP Countdown: Time left to demand that Congress make health care reform pro-life: 2009-11-07 18:00:00 GMT-05:00

    Friday, November 30, 2007

    Catholic League slams USCCB for positive review of Golden Compass

    LifeSiteNews interviewed the Catholic League for their response to the USCCB's recent positive review of the Golden Compass, which I took issue with yesterday in my extensive post on the topic.

    In most instances, this article repeats the main points that I made. One interesting connection the interview makes:

    Forbes has for many years been the Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Office for Film and Broadcasting. In 2005, pointed out that Forbes issued a glowingly positive review of the homosexual propaganda film "Brokeback Mountain". Yesterday, Forbes issued another positive review, this time for the film adaptation of the specifically anti-Catholic novel "The Golden Compass."

    ... The League did not take issue with the USCCB review praising the film for its artistic merit, but for its winking at the devastating anti-Catholicism.

    ... Forbes' 2005 USCCB glowing review of the homosexual film Brokeback Mountain was substantially altered after a readers issued numerous concerns to the Bishops Conference. (See coverage here.) has retained a copy of the original glowing review for those interested.

    A litte zing that I passed over:

    In what the League calls "mind-boggling", the USCCB review actually congratulates the screenwriter for portraying the characters as demonstrating "free will" for their opposition to the Magisterium and then suggests that this is a reflection "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching".

    "To the extent, moreover, that Lyra (the central character) and her allies are taking a stand on behalf of free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium, they are of course acting entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching," writes Forbes. "The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers."

    The League countered: "Nazis are portrayed as having free will in movies, too. Should the screenwriters of this film be commended for reflecting Catholic values? Free will is indeed a Catholic value, but it is the object of free will that carries moral weight."
    CPT Tom and Freder1ck in the comments thread to my original post also brought up the USCCB's prior "glowing" review of Brokeback Mountain. I think it is important to make clear once again that there is nothing outrageous, properly speaking, in criticizing a USCCB-sponsored movie review. These are journalists hired by the USCCB, not U.S. Bishops invoking their teaching authority.

    Related: "Plan to Turn Anti-Christian Books into Super-Series after "Golden Compass" Released" (LSN):
    British author Philip Pullman's anti-religious children's fantasy stories will become a multi-million dollar Hollywood "super series", according to a Reuter's report, along the lines of Lord of the Rings and the still unfinished Chronicles of Narnia. At the same time, opposition to the anti-religious, and specifically anti-Catholic themes of the book are coming under greater scrutiny with the US Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights calling for a boycott.
    Carl Olson, who has long been following this story, notes how the book is explicitly anti-Catholic:

    I recently sat down and read a few chapters of The Golden Compass. Chapter 21 is especially notable, what with its remarks about "the Church," "the doctrines of the Church," "exorcisms," "original sin," "God," "Adam and Eve," quotes from Genesis 1-2, the Bible, castratos, Church music, etc. (all of which, needless to say, are presented in a most negative way).
    Yeah, sure sounds to me like Pullman is thinking of one organized religion in particular: Catholicism.

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