This just in:

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publication, a largely positive review of The Golden Compass that appeared in Catholic newspapers across the country was retracted this week by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.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

“… there was all kinds of speculation from the day it went up…as to whether or not something like this would happen,” said Jim Lackey, general news editor for the Catholic News Service…

[the Bishops]‘s Office for Film and Broadcasting routinely reviews new movies and has its work distributed by CNS. It also rates films according to whether Catholics should see them or not.

One bishop, indeed, and Arch Bishop, did weigh in:

“The Archdiocese of Baltimore is grateful that the Conference withdrew the review because it caused much confusion in the Catholic Community,” Baltimore Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien said in an e-mailed statement. “From all reports, the review failed to adequately warn parents about the movie’s widely recognized dark themes and anti-Catholic imagery.”

I wonder if this story will be covered by the CNS?

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