Catholic Legion of Decency

When movies began around the turn of the last century, devout religious viewers did not like some of what they saw. In 1933, the Catholic Legion of Decency was formed. It ran until 1970.

It’s interesting to note that the Hippie “Summer of Love” occurred in 1967. Rosemary’s Baby was released in 1968 (a woman is made pregnant by the devil). And another Hippie event, Woodstock, occurred in 1969. By 1970, the die had been cast for a movie industry that moved closer and closer to making porn mainstream, and that effort continues to this day.

For those among you who are interested in how Catholic boycotts and protests affected the motion picture industry, I suggest getting a (used or library) copy of: The Cross and the Cinema: The Legion of Decency and the Catholic Office for Motion Pictures, 1933-1970, by James Skinner.

God bless,
Ed

Back in those days, the Legion of Decency movie ratings were taken quite seriously by Hollywood. They didn’t normally want a rating of C–condemned, because that would effectively eliminate a great great deal of the potential audience.

I recall that many if not most parishes, asked parishioners during one Sunday Mass each year, to take a pledge not to see movies which were condemned by the L of D.

Catholics no longer have that kind of market power; although it’s a large enough market segment that I suppose they could if they really wanted.

As you mention, the culture changed radically after the 1960’s, and Catholics became a part of the culture. It changed us, rather than vice-versa.

And that is something I hope more Catholics are realizing. The movies, in particular, are not good, for the most part. I think too many Catholics tolerate the profanity, not to mention two people just shacking up. Things have gone too far.

The more Catholics focus on the junk coming from the movies and their television, the more distracted they are from living their lives as Christ told us to.

God bless,
Ed

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