If ever there was a sure sign that the movie version of The Golden Compass has had most of its anti-religion tone ripped out by its roots it’s the fact that two Catholic film critics who write for the Catholic News Service are giving the film high praise. Needless to say some folks aren’t happy about that:
“Two weeks ago there was a lot of buzz about a boycott, but now the talk is about the review,” said Joe Towalski, editor of the Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
And a lot of it is angry talk. The Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, president of Front Royal, Va.-based Human Life International, which describes its mission as “upholding the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church,” used his website to call for the dismissal of movie critics Harry Forbes and John Mulderig of the Catholic News Service, the church’s official news arm. Their review raved about the movie while dismissing concerns that Phillip Pullman, the author of the fantasy trilogy on which it’s based, is a professed atheist who is on record as saying, “My books are about killing God.”
In particular, the review noted the movie departed from Pullman’s book in its explicit references to the church. “Most moviegoers with no foreknowledge of the books or Pullman’s personal belief system will scarcely be aware of religious connotations, and can approach the movie as a pure fantasy-adventure,” they said, adding: “… this film—altered, as it is, from its source material—rates as intelligent and well-crafted entertainment.”
Forbes and Mulderig “have summarily put our hierarchy on record as giving glowing praise to the work of a militant atheist,” Euteneuer told the Star Tribune. “This is utterly irresponsible.”
No, they gave praise to a seriously watered down movie based on the work of an atheist. Still it’s fun to see the Catholics arguing amongst themselves over something as stupid as a movie. For all the talk of how strong the Christian faithful are in their beliefs you’d think this movie was causing people to become instant atheists with the way they’re reacting to it.
And mad props to DaBroad for linking to this article in another thread.