By John-Henry Westen

CHICAGO, December 13, 2007 ( – The top item on the webpage of the Archdiocese of Chicago today is a warning against ‘The Golden Compass’ movie.  Next to a photo of Cardinal Francis George is a note stating: “Both the movie and the books contain aspects that are deeply troubling to those who profess the Catholic faith.”

In addition, St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke writes in his diocesan paper today that Catholic parents and teachers in his archdiocese “were warned that the author of the books (“His Dark Materials,” by Philip Pullman) from which the movie is drawn is an avowed atheist who has a particular hatred of the Catholic Church.”

“As archbishop,” said Burke, “I caution all Catholics regarding the atheistic and anti-Catholic nature of Pullman’s writings, upon which ‘The Golden Compass’ is based.” (see: )

Cardinal George and Archbishop Burke are the latest in a string of Catholic bishops who have publicly voiced opposition to the film and the anti-Christian series of books on which the film is based, His Dark Materials by atheist activist Philip Pullman. reported Wednesday that three Archbishops, and two bishops had similarly given public warning against the film and books.  Those included Archbishops Alfred Hughes of New Orleans, Edwin O’Brien of Baltimore, and Charles Chaput of Denver.  Bishop Jerome Listecki of La Crosse and Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond. (see: )

Beyond these, has learned that letters to pastors urging them to caution the faithful against the film and the books went out in the Diocese of Toledo under Bishop Leonard P. Blair and also the Diocese of Raleigh under Bishop Michael F. Burbidge.

The condemnation by a growing number of bishops comes as a much needed correction to a positive review of the film by the Office for Film and Broadcasting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  That positive review was used by the producers of the film to advertise ‘The Golden Compass” as if it had the approval of US Bishops. 

That review was pulled from the USCCB website this week, and some Catholic leaders including Human Life International President Fr. Tom Euteneuer have called for the resignation of Harry Forbes, Director of the USCCB film office and the primary author of the controversial review for Golden Compass.  Forbes was also responsible for a glowing review of the homosexual-propaganda film Brokeback Mountain in 2005.

See related coverage:

Call for US Bishops to Fire Chief Movie Reviewer Renewed as Compass Review Pulled