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United States Conference of Catholic Bishops deep-sixes positive review of The Golden Compass…. sort of

From The Baltimore Sun:

Days after its publication, a largely positive review of the film version of The Golden Compass that appeared in Catholic newspapers across the country was retracted this week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops, who could not be reached for comment, offered no explanation for the decision. But Catholic groups, including the conservative Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, have urged moviegoers to boycott the film, saying the film and the book on which it is based are anti-Catholic.

“Certainly, there was all kinds of speculation from the day it went up [on the Web site] as to whether or not something like this would happen,” said Jim Lackey, general news editor for the Catholic News Service, a wire service run by the bishops’ conference. He was told Monday to remove the review from the service’s Web site.

However, it would appear that the USCCB “ or “uscub” (we just made that up) “ has as shaky an understanding of how the web works as they do of art. You see, nothing really disappears from the web, so if you’d like to read the Catholic News Service’s review, go here. You can also go to the main page here and watch the review appear and then disappear a few seconds later. Talk about a tease!

Ironically enough, it’s probably one of the few positive reviews the movie got anywhere.

Here is the money quote from the review:

To the extent, moreover, that Lyra and her allies are taking a stand on behalf of free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium, they are of course acting entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching. The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers.