The Golden Compass – Be Informed, Talk About It

I’ve heard a lot lately about a movie coming out on Dec. 7 titled The Golden Compass. Apparently there is some controversey swirling around this movie which is based on a novel (part of a trilogy) by Phillip Pullman titled His Dark Materials. It would seem that the controversey is not so much about the movie but about the books of the trilogy and Pullman’s atheism and alleged hostility toward Christianity.

I confess to knowing NOTHING about these books or the movie other than what I just wrote above. For that reason, I am not siding with any efforts to either condemn or to promote the movie. I am encouraging Catholics to be informed and to talk about the issue rather than just to have a knee-jerk reaction of condemnation. I took the same approach to the Da Vinci Code and The Secret. If you’re going to condemn something, know why you are doing so and know what you are promoting in its place.

With that in mind, I recommend you begin by reading the thoughts of Sr. Rose Pacatte, FSP, who is the director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City and the author of the Lights, Camera, Faith film lectionary series published by Pauline Books and Media. Sr. Rose is one of the leading Catholic experts in the area of media and faith.

Catechists may be asked about the movie and the books and I thought it would be good to bring the issue to your attention should you wish to learn more about it. Thanks to my friend and colleague Michelle for alerting me to Sr. Rose’s article.


About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


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