Catholic Bishops Movie Ratings

Ok, this is a site that rates movies who or what age group they are appropriate for. My mom would make my little sister look up a movie on there before letting her go see it. Here is the main page for anyone interested: - I also like to check for movie and other reviews.

What I am curious about is a lot of movies are considered or rated “Morally Offensive”. Does that mean it is a Mortal sin to watch the movie? I have beeen trying to stay away from most “R” rated movies for a while now, but even some PG-13 rated movies are considered “Morally Offensive” by the site.

I don’t think I will watch “The Watchmen,” but i do like most of the comic book movies. Just curious if others think because of this rating, it would be a sin to watch (or other movies that are rated that way, on the site).


Watchmen Review:

Watchmen —Darkly ironic and exceedingly violent fantasy action tale – set in a dystopian alternate version of 1985 America – in which a lawman turned masked vigilante (Jackie Earle Haley) investigates the murder of a former colleague (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and uncovers a plot to kill off all the members of the self-appointed posse (Malin Akerman, Patrick Wilson and Matthew Goode, among others) to which they once both belonged. Director Zack Snyder wields grand-scale production values and occasionally intriguing special effects in his overlong adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s landmark graphic novel, which also features Billy Crudup as a clothes-eschewing giant, but the circuitous proceedings lead from one bone-crunching or limb-baring encounter to another and cynically peddle moral ambiguity tricked out as sophistication. Graphic action violence, strong sexual content including graphic nonmarital activity and attempted rape, full nudity, at least a dozen uses of the F-word and of profanity, and some crude language and sexual humor. O – morally offensive. ® 2009

These reviews are written by a fellow who is simply an employee of the organizational side of the Conferences.

He has been exposed for being dangerously wrong in his reviews, and rating movies as watchable that are simply not. Honestly, that part of the site is a scandal and should be completely disregarded as a method of judging whether a movie is safe for viewing or not.

I look forwards to the day it is removed.

It is as scandalous as the funding going towards abortion from the Canadian Bishop’s Conference, or the unopposed rejection of Humanae Vitae in many countries.

To judge whether a movie is watchable or not requires several judgements: Does it contain blasphemy or sacrilege, does it contain content that is a near occasion of sin, and so on – If it has these problems it is to be thrown in the scap heap.

Which the Watchmen would qualify for.

Try ‘Sensus Traditionis’ linked below, the multimedia collection of sermons – the very first sermon is on Movies.

Well by that link it sounds like any movie with anything wrong in it, shouldn’t be watched. Even PG rated movies have stuff that isn’t Morally ok. I don’t think that can be expected, to avoid them. I know many Catholics that watch things I wouldn’t, even on this site they have said things they watch (TV shows and movies). But I don’t think I should have to not watch anything. It’s not the same as doing it, but I try to avoid movies with nudity, and where the point of them is about sex (Because I don’t think that is good for me to be watching).

I think that part of whether it is ok, has to do with if you are watching it for the bad stuff in it, instead of watching a movie, that has some bad stuff. After reading about The Watchmen, I don’t plan on seeing it, but I think that watching most PG-13 movies should be ok.

I hadn’t heard about this. Do you have a link?

I don’t think most PG-13 movies would be OK, though I do not have current direct knowledge of this. I last was a movie buff in the 80’s, as a child, with my parents before I was a church going Catholic. :smiley:

But my impression from what I recall of back then was that scantily clad ladies, vulgarity, and sexual innuendos were par for the course in PG-13 and that the only difference between it and R was generally full nudity for women and more direct rather than innuendoed sex. :mad:

I know even some G movies truly are offensive for their vulgarity, and so forth, Disney has gone downhill. :frowning:

Generally as one becomes a person more dedicated to God the more you wish to have activities the saints in Heaven and on earth would enjoy, rather than those profane people would, who do not care or take lightly a multitude of sinful things offensive to God as a matter of course. :smiley: It’s part of a reorientation of life. :smiley:

If one has a movie one is thinking might be morally OK to watch, I think there’re a lot of websites that review movies and picking through these one might arrive at a prudent judgement – or might not.

There is one I think in fact that makes a list of profanity and sexual situations, directly citing them though the descriptions themselves are often not what one wants to read since it’s user contributed to.

So, generally, one is going to have to give up a majority of what is produced, and only see a minority – though this is only what is now being produced, the further back in time one goes the more able one is to find entertainment. Being willing to watch foreign films can help too, depending. One has to make an extra effort. :slight_smile:

Sorry to say it, just how it is. :slight_smile:

RE: The question about the Bishops’ Conference.

It’s on the front page of right now, and there’re archived stories about it too. :slight_smile:

There’s really no shortcuts here. You have to use your own God-goven gift of discernment. :wink:

Just because a movie is morally offensive doesn’t mean we can say that it is therefore a mortal sin for anyone and everyone to watch it. The real question is: Is it leading you to sin by watching it?

If you are fairly strong in your faith, you can watch something and not be swayed by it. This doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to do so, nor does it mean that strong Catholics can be cavalier about their viewing habits. Again, discernment is needed.

For all these Catholic review sites, someone has to sit through these morally bankrupt movies in order to review them. Does this mean that the moview reviewers are committing a mortal sin in order to review a movie and warn other people about the morally offensive parts? Of course not. That is because it is not inherently sinful.

This is really true of any media and art whether it be movies, TV, music, books, etc.

Truly, it’s not just being ‘strong in your faith’ and so capable of viewing it, being strong in your faith leads towards -not wanting to have anything to do with it-, it is the opposite course.

While ‘near occasions of sin’ which it is sinful not to avoid are one of the main concerns with movies, the movie can be inherently sinful. Having those near occasions is part of that – if it is a near occasion that affects a normal person, then the movie is promoting sin, which is inherently sinful.

But what I really want to focus on too is that if the movie contains blasphemy, it is inherently sinful, and yes that means as a movie reviewer – if you know it’s in there, you can’t even play it to review it. You toss it in the trash, simple as that. Why? Because there is no legitimate reason to replay blasphemy against God.

Every time it is replayed – it is being replayed, it is happening again and you are the one causing it.

And what is blasphemy against God – using Our Lord’s name in vain. So you see – why we have so many movies that are a huge problem nowadays. A huge problem.

It is inherently offensive to God that something like that even -exists- regardless of it being viewed, heard, etc. its simple creation and existence, in audio or video form is offensive. It’s like setting up an idol, and certain other inherently evil acts, creations and depictions.

A person does not have to risk his soul to view movies to review them.

Now a person may say, I don’t care if a movie contains the Lord’s name taken in vain, and it’s not a serious sin – which it is but this the world talking, not the Christian in a person. A Christian can only use God’s name in two ways: demonstratively, and for the purpose of love and adoration. Anyone is only capable of doing it that way, any other way – Christian or not, it is a sin.

For reference material on this, try the audio talk above and the Ten Commandments, or your basic catechism which details them. :slight_smile:

By that standard, is it a sin to speak with those who have the unfortunate habit of using the Lord’s name in vain?

Fr. Ripperger’s talk seems awfully rigorous compared to other things that I’ve read on this issue:

Generally, I use the Bishop’s ratings (avoiding “O” movies and limiting “L” movies). They aren’t perfect, but I haven’t had much of a problem (in terms of occasion of sin) with the movies I have watched. I will admit they’ve really messed up at least a few times, particularly with Brokeback Mountain before they revised the ratings. Perhaps a better site is Decent Films:

The Vatican’s own list of the top films of all time contains a number of films that contain some offensive material (profanity, nudity, etc.).

If what you are saying is true, would that mean that people like Steve Greydanus from are pretty much in a constant state of mortal sin because of the work that they have undertaken to review movies for Catholics? Does this mean it’s also inherently mortally sinful to read a book like “Catcher in the Rye” because it takes the name of the Lord in vain on the page and every time you read it, it plays through in your head? Respectfully, that seems a bit extreme to me, and I don’t believe it’s supported in the documents of the Church.

Certainly, taking the Lord’s name in vain is a serious sin. There’s no argument there. But to say that it is inherently sinful to watch any such movie is not a claim I’d be willing to make. Could you share exactly where this is drawn from in the documents of the Church? On my website, I had previously compiled all the Church documents I could find on the Church and the media. It would seem that one of these documents should support what you are saying, but I have not come across one yet. Granted, I have not read all of these documents in their entirety, but I’ve gone through a fair bit of them and I don’t recall reading anywhere that a movie which depicts the Lord’s name being used in vain is inherently sinful for anyone to watch. If you find something, please let me know so I can change my understanding of the matter.

Starting in the 1930s and ending in 1973, there was a Catholic Legion of Decency. That’s right. The Catholic Church was very concerned about the motion picture and the influence it could have on people. Please read this:

Sin is sin. Read the Gospels. The media is only concerned about showing more skin, and fornication in movies and even TV. Profanity is coming out of the mouths of most comedians along with graphic sex talk. It was not always this way. Things changed but Catholics didn’t do it.


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