Did the devil make them do it?
Maybe. The Catholic News Service has established a new 900 telephone number called the Preview Line. By dialing (900) PREVIEW (773-8439), you'll hear CNS reviews and classifications of recent movies and videos. The call costs $1.50 for the first minute and 75 cents for each additional minute.
Thomas N. Lorsung, director and editor in chief of CNS, says his organization is just trying to reach a wider audience with its movie reviews, which have been running in Catholic newspapers across the country for years.
"You don't have to be Catholic to use it," said Mr. Lorsung. ". . . Anyone with moral sensitivities would be interested in these reviews. It's not just if there's nudity or sexuality, it gets condemned. It depends on the context."
The movies reviewed (in about 100 words) carry MPAA ratings as well as traditional Catholic classifications: A-I is acceptable for "general patronage"; A-II for adults and teens; A-III for adults only; A-IV acceptable for adults, but "with reservations," and "O" means morally offensive.
The revenue from the calls will be split among AT&T, Advanced Telecom Services (the telecommunications company that set up the pay-per-call service) and CNS.