By John-Henry Westen

VATICAN CITY, December 19, 2007 ( – The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano added its voice yesterday to the condemnation of the newly released film ‘The Golden Compass’ and the book series on which the film was based.  In a lengthy editorial on December 18, the paper said Golden Compass was “the most anti-Christian film possible.”

This latest confirmation of Catholic opposition to the film, puts into sharp relief once again the positive review which the film received from the film office of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).  After several Catholic leaders and many lay faithful contacted the USCCB with their concerns the review was officially withdrawn.  Since then a growing number of Catholic bishops and archbishops have publicly condemned the film.

The Vatican paper’s editorial explained, “It’s a film that leaves one cold, because it brings with it the coldness and the desperation of rebellion, solitude and individualism.”

L’Osservatore Romano also observed that Phillip Pullman, the author of ‘His Dark Materials’ novels on which the film was based, advocates “a totally atheist ideology, the enemy of all religions, traditional and institutional, and of Christianity and Catholicism in particular.”

“In the world of Pullman, hope simply doesn’t exist, in part because there is no salvation but only personal, individualistic capacity to control the situation and dominate events,” it said.

Honest viewers of the film gifted with a discerning spirit, “will feel no particular emotion, except for a great chill—which is not only due to the polar scenes,” said the paper.

It goes to show, said the Vatican paper, “when man tries to eliminate God from his horizon, everything is reduced, made sad, cold and inhuman.”

The editorial suggested that the film’s lackluster performance at the box office compared to blockbusters such as ‘Chronicles of Narnia’, could deter films based on the other two books in the series.  “If that should happen, it wouldn’t be a big loss,” it said.

The man responsible for the USCCB’s now-pulled positive review of ‘Golden Compass’ is the USCCB film office director Harry Forbes, who embarrassed the USCCB two years ago with a glowing review for the homosexual propaganda film Brokeback Mountain. That review was altered substantially after Catholics were alerted to it by a report. 

Human Life International leader Fr. Tom Euteneuer has called on the USCCB to fire Forbes for the scandal he has caused. reported yesterday on another positive review Forbes made in the name of the USCCB for a film celebrating homosexual immorality.  (see: )

To express concerns contact:

James Accurso, Assistant Director of Communications in the office of USCCB President Cardinal George informed that concerns should be sent to the USCCB office of communications:

(202) 541-3000

USCCB President
Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.
Archdiocese of Chicago
155 E. Superior Street Chicago, IL
60611 312-751- 8200