Book cover of "Fifty Shades of Grey" written by E.L. James

Book cover of “Fifty Shades of Grey” written by E.L. James

This Valentine’s Day, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth is taking a stand against pornography, domestic violence and the exploitation of women.

“As you may be aware, a film called ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is being released in theaters on Feb. 13, 2015. The books and film, marketed as a romantic story, are a graphic portrayal of a young woman agreeing to be abused and degraded in a sexual relationship,” wrote Bishop Richard Malone, committee chair and bishop of Buffalo, New York, in a Feb. 4 statement.

Based on the bestselling “Fifty Shades” trilogy written by British housewife E.L. James, the movie is being boycotted by domestic violence activists and religious groups, including the Religious Alliance Against Pornography, an interreligious organization comprised of academics, clergy, ethnic leaders and ministry groups.

RAAP released this statement on “Fifty Shades of Grey”:

“The theme is that bondage, dominance and sadomasochism are normal and pleasurable… The contrast between the message of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy could not be greater. The books and the movie undermine everything that we believe as members of the faith community.”

RAAP urges the faithful to communicate via newspapers, newsletters, emails and other means the destructive message of the movie, while reaffirming “the beauty of God’s design for loving relationships between a husband and wife in the covenant of marriage.”

“This is an opportunity for us to remind the faithful of the beauty of the Church’s teaching on the gift of sexual intimacy in marriage, the great dignity of women, and the moral reprehensibility of all domestic violence and sexual exploitation,” Bishop Malone concluded.