Statement on The Golden Compass

Author: Bishop Robert J. Baker

Statement on The Golden Compass

Bishop Robert J. Baker
Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama

Statement by Bishop Robert J. Baker on The Golden Compass

The movie The Golden Compass opened in theaters across the country on December 7, 2007. The movie is based on the first of a trilogy of books written by a self-proclaimed atheist author, Philip Pullman, who also has stated in published interviews that his goal in his books are:

• To kill belief in God
• To undermine the basis of the Christian Faith

Set in a fantasy world in a battle between good and evil, Pullman turns everything upside down. God is evil. Satan is good. The seemingly innocent battles are against an evil named the "Magisterium." It is clear to even the casual observer that this is an attack against the Christian Faith and, more specifically, against the Catholic Church whose teaching authority is known as the Magisterium.

I encourage the Catholic Faithful to avoid The Golden Compass and to support the many good efforts of the film industry, such as The Narnia Chronicles and the recently released award-winning film Bella, that seek to build up our culture rather than tear it apart. I especially urge caution to parents in their duty of protecting and nourishing the faith of their children, whose faith could be compromised by viewing and taking in the subtle message presented in The Golden Compass.

I encourage you to review the question and answer material in the December 14th issue of The One Voice and on the diocesan web site,, available the week of December 10.