Recreation, in its manifold varieties, has become a necessity for people who work under the fatiguing conditions of modern industry, but it must be worthy of the rational nature of man and therefore must be morally healthy. It must be elevated to the rank of a positive factor for good and must seek to arouse noble sentiments.For these reasons, we do not by any means condemn motion pictures or in any way prohibit, unconditionally, Catholics from viewing motion pictures, but rather, We urge the faithful to practice ever increasing discretion over what sort of motion pictures they view. Unfortunately the Legion of Decency, which we held in such high esteem in Our encyclical, is no longer in existence. However, we are thankful for the work of the Office for Film and Broadcasting of the United States Council of Catholic Bishops, but we have found even more beneficial the Decent Films Guide of Mr. Steven D. Greydanus, as it not only provides the ratings provided by the USCCB and the MPAA, but also gives a detailed review the movies listed and a listing of the moving picture's Overall Recommendability, Artistic-Entertainment Value, Moral-Spiritual Value, and Age Appropriateness. This wonderful guide, informed by Catholic values, gives all the faithful an opportunity to inform themselves about movies currently in wide release, and also about many older movies. Please be sure to take a look at this guide the next time you plan to see a motion picture otherwise you may find a statement reading: ANATHEMA SIT waiting for you when you get home!
Since then the cinema is in reality a sort of object lesson which, for good or for evil, teaches the majority of men more effectively than abstract reasoning, it must be elevated to conformity with the aims of a Christian conscience and saved from depraving and demoralizing effects.
29 June 2006
Seventy years have passed since Our promulgation of Our encyclical Vigilanti Cura, and on this day, the seventieth anniversary of Our encyclical, We have deemed it necessary to address, once again, the problem of indecency and immorality in moving pictures. Although in several places We have addressed this problem, We have most regrettably noticed a lack of "painstaking vigilance" which we so vehemently urged our brother bishops to exercise in reference to the moving picture industry and their use of their arts. As we stated in our encyclical,
Posted by Papa Pius XI at 9:00 AM