I was sent a link by a friend to the full text of "MOTION PICTURES Classified by National Legion of Decency FEBRUARY, 1936 — OCTOBER, 1959" (Vatican II did away with this, I wonder why?) If you should choose to read some of the text at the link, be sure to read the ratings before you scroll down the list, also read the objections under some of the movies; it certainly is eye opening. The movies in this list are all from 1959 and before. If the Legion of Decency were still in existence how would the movies of today be classified? Methinks not many of them, if any, would be classified so that they were okay to watch. What great dangers lie in these movies for the innocent eyes of our precious children? Those little eyes that God entrusted to our care!
The following is from the Preface:
"Convinced that there exists today no means of influencing the masses more potent than the motion picture medium, Holy Mother Church has, during the last three decades, exercised a special motherly care and watchfulness over the cinema. Ideally, as a gift from God our Creator, the motion picture should be used by men solely for the good of mankind, for "the first aim of this art should be to serve truth and virtue," to use Pius XII 's forthright statement in Miranda Prorsus.
In the same Encyclical letter the late Holy Father has specified the particular reasons which prompt a continuing interest on the part of the Church in motion pictures: "Just as very great advantages can arise from the wonderful advances which have been made in our day, in technical knowledge concerning motion pictures, radio and television, so too can very great dangers.
For these new possessions and new instruments which are within almost everyone's grasp, introduce a most powerful influence into men's minds, both because they can flood them with light, raise them to nobility, adorn them with beauty, and because they can disfigure them by dimming their luster, dishonor them by a process of corruption, and make them subject to uncontrolled passions, according as the subjects presented to the senses in these shows are praiseworthy or reprehensible.
In the past century, advancing technical skill in the field of business frequently had this result: machines, which ought to serve men, when brought into use rather reduced them to a state of slavery and caused grievous harm.
Likewise today, unless the mounting development of technical skill, applied to the diffusion of pictures, sounds and ideas is subjected to the sweet yoke of the law of Christ, it can be the source of countless evils, which appear to be all the more serious, because not only material forces but also the mind are unhappily enslaved. And man's inventions are, to that extent, deprived of those advantages which in the design of God's Providence ought to be their primary purpose. . . ."
The Church has never doubted the vast power of the cinema for good but neither is She blind to the harm which this medium can do when crass commercialism replaces principle and social responsibility. To assist Her children in the choice of that which is good in this medium of entertainment and at the same time to guard them against movies which are not worthy of the rational nature of man the Church has established National Catholic film centers throughout the world. The National Legion of Decency is such a center for the American scene. . . . . " The rest of this can be read at the following link:
An example of what can happen when children are allowed to watch what they please.