Pastor’s Letter on “The Golden Compass”

Here is the letter I wrote in my parish bulletin on November 25 regarding the movie “The Golden Compass” being released tomorrow:

Next Sunday marks the beginning of Advent, the Season when the Church prepares for the coming of Christ. Unfortunately, this year the Church will need to prepare for the coming of the latest Antichrist, in the form of a truly diabolically disturbing, major Hollywood movie, geared for children.

The film, entitled “The Golden Compass,” stars Nicole Kidman and opens December 7 in theaters across the country. It is based on the first book of the “His Dark Materials” Trilogy written in the 1990’s by British author Philip Pullman. Two of the books in the Trilogy have actually won children’s literature awards in England.

Watching the trailer to the movie, one might think that “The Golden Compass” is just another children’s fantasy movie along the lines of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” I will let Mr. Pullman speak for himself as to what kind of story his Trilogy tells: “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief (through these books)”, he told the Washington Post in 2001; “My books are about killing God” he told the Sydney Herald. In the fantasy world of these books, the archenemy of humanity and freedom controlling the world is the “Church,” which is composed of a college of Cardinals, a college of Bishops, a Magisterium, priests and nuns. The God this Church worships and serves (“Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty”) is depicted as a liar and a creature. Here’s one quote from a “good” character in the book: “I used to be a nun you see. I thought physics could be done to the glory of God, till I saw there wasn’t any God at all and that physics was more interesting anyway. The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” And all of this is written for children!

Supposedly, the upcoming movie is to be a very watered down version of the least anti-Catholic of the three novels. But children who go see “The Golden Compass” and enjoy it will want to read the books, which of course will be on sale everywhere for the Christmas buying season. And in no way are any of these intentionally blasphemous, atheistic books appropriate for children. Parents, get educated, get the word out, and steer your kids clear of this movie and book series. Steer them towards the wonderfully Christian and Catholic fantasy books and films of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien instead.

It looks like this Advent we will have all the more reason to fervently pray: “Maranatha — Come, Lord Jesus!”

God Bless, Fr. Woolley

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