The bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse has sent a letter to priests cautioning them about the controversial new children’s film “The Golden Compass.”
In the letter Bishop Jerome Listecki explained his duty as bishop was to inform priests and laity about entertainment that is harmful to Christian belief. He noted the self-proclaimed atheist and anti-Christian aims of Philip Pullman, the author of the trilogy on which the movie is based.
He described how the books were problematic, saying "instead of using fantasy to lead people to truth and to God, this trilogy tries to lead them away from God."
Bishop Listecki said that, despite the movie’s qualities, “it is clear that this movie is the first part of a trilogy that expresses hatred of Christianity and that portrays God, the Church and religion as evil and oppressive and urges children to join fallen angels in a rebellion against God."
He urged his priests to warn the faithful, especially parents, about the series’ attack on the Christian faith and the innocence of children.
The Diocese of La Cross website has published a question and answer sheet about the movie for parents. It warns parents about desensitizing children to evil, and suggests telling their children the movie is “definitely poison for the soul.”
A film reviewer working for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops recently praised the “Golden Compass” movie, and his comments were used in movie promotional materials. The advertisers for “The Golden Compass” took two separate quotes from the USCCB reviewer and created one sentence that appeared to endorse the movie as “an exciting adventure, entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching.” The ad agency has reportedly said that the text of the ads will be changed.