By Eliana Dockterman
February 11, 2015

Cincinnati’s archbishop does not approve of Fifty Shades of Grey.

“The story line is presented as a romance; however, the underlying theme is that bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism are normal and pleasurable,” Archbishop Dennis Schnurr wrote of the erotic book-turned movie on the archdiocese’s Facebook page. “The movie is in direct contrast to the Christian message of God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy.”

“The movie is a direct assault on Christian marriage and on the moral and spiritual strength of God’s people,” he added.

Several religious groups have cautioned against seeing the film before its release Friday. But their protests seem to be falling on deaf ears: Ticketing website Fandango has sold more advance tickets for Fifty Shades than for any other R-rated film in the site’s history.

And the book series upon which the film is based has already earned a devoted following among many Christian women. A survey of 1,075 adults by the Barna Group, a faith-focused polling firm, found that 9% of practicing Christian women in America have read at least the first book, The Atlantic reports. That’s roughly consistent with the percentage of total U.S. women who have read Fifty Shades.

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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