The following comes from a March 1 Catholic San Francisco article by Christina Gray:

Many of this year’s Oscar-nominated films would likely have been stamped “condemned” if they were made during the era of the Catholic Legion of Decency, according to Catholic film critic Pauline Sister Rose Pacatte, host of a month-long film series in March aired by Turner Classic Movies.

“Condemned,” premiering March 3 at 8 p.m., will explore a little-known or forgotten aspect of film history: the powerful influence the Catholic Church had on Hollywood for more than a half-a-century from the 1930s through the 1960s.

“This is a fascinating look at older films and why they were condemned or found offensive and objectionable by the Catholic Church” said Sister Rose, an award-winning catechetical film critic who offers her theological, educational and cinematic perspective on films for RCL Benziger, St. Anthony’s Messenger and National Catholic Reporter.

Sister Rose is also founding director of the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Culver City. Her blog, “Sister Rose Goes to the Movies,” is ranked as one of top 130 church blogs in the country, according to her biography.

The series will screen 27 of the movies the Legion condemned and explore the impact it and Catholic moviegoers had on how movies were produced at that time.

Founded in 1933 by the archbishop of Cincinnati, John T. McNicholas, the Catholic Legion of Decency was dedicated to identifying and combating objectionable content in films, often of a sexual nature, from the viewpoint of the church. The Legion distributed a list of ratings for films, classifying them as A (morally unobjectionable); B (morally objectionable in part); or C (condemned). The rating system was more stringent than the Motion Picture Association of America’s long-standing “Production Code” in place at the same time.

During the Legion’s heyday, Catholic parishes asked the faithful to take the Legion of Decency Pledge, an oath that promised an individual would not watch morally objectionable movies or even patronize any theatre that screened them. To avoid a condemned rating, Hollywood producers were often willing to adjust costumes or story lines.

Sister Rose, who told Catholic San Francisco she used to receive letters telling her that it was “just wrong” for a nun to watch movies, believes “you can find God on the silver screen.” She said her approach as host of the series will be “cinematic, historic and “educational” as it looks at each film and what led to its condemned rating.