Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Harry Potter

Just last Saturday the latest Harry Potter installment: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" arrived on store shelves and literally began flying off. Sunday on the news, I heard that 250,000 are being sold every hour!

Well, recently a letter from Pope Benedict has emerged that cautions people not to read Harry Potter because it "distort Christianity in the soul". I, however, am reading the book and am almost done, but I would like to reiterate Our Holy Father's concerns. This is a book that requires a mature audience that understands fact from fiction. I don't believe this book should be banned, but I strongly encourage parents to remind their children these books are fiction and not something to be embraced as a ideology.

I've even heard that there has been a rise in people to the Wiccan beliefs due to Harry Potter, and I strongly encourage everyone before reading it to read it for fun and not begin believing it is fact. I know this seems like a strength that many of us would never do, but I've heard many arguments; and if people begin to read Harry Potter and believe it, then Christianity has truly been "distorted". I think it's a good book, but with seeing people dressed up in costumes and actually believing wizards and witches are real, a problem has emerged.

Anyone here reading the book?

16 comment(s):

del_button July 19, 2005 at 7:00 PM
Matthew said...

Harry Potter is different because this book doesn't speak lies about God like the DaVinci Code does. If the Harry Potter series said just one false statement against a dogma then I would consider it worthless, but it remains a good story with true morals: quite different from the DaVinci Code.

del_button July 19, 2005 at 8:22 PM
Anonymous said...

I'm actually the friend of several Wiccans and I've read a book on the subject written by a Wiccan. They are not Satan worshippers, while one of their main deities may look like him. Their argument is that he is a fertility god of theirs and early Christians used his image as the image of Satan as a tool in conversion. Wiccans don't even believe in our God and they recognize Jesus as only a historical character, nothing more. They do not believe in performing their religious rituals ("magick") for the use of evil or personal gain. Like us, they believe in doing good works to avoid evil, etc. they just happen to believe in a different gods. While it does say it dueteronomy to avoid the "evils of witchcraft" and in exodus to "suffer not a witch to live" I think the anti-neopaganism of Catholicism is an ignorant prejudice. That's a semi-unrelated tangent, but I had to get that off my chest.

But on the subject of Harry Potter, I read today in TIME that Rowling does not try incorporate religion in it at all and to think so is the result of over-analysis. Except for the characters who are portrayed as villains, the characters tend to do good. And while the characters may do evil, including Harry at times, that's because Rowling portrays them as human. Humans tend to do good, but also tend to sometimes commit evil. It is a work of fiction and nothing more.

While I have not read "Harry Potter - Good or Evil" and do not know how it proves HP is evil, I don't think the Pope has read the Harry Potter series and therefore lacks an understanding of it.

del_button July 19, 2005 at 11:01 PM
Deacon Mike said...

The letter you refer to was written by then Cardinal Ratzinger, apparently in response to someone who had written to him about a book she had written concerning Harry Potter and it's influence. It doesn't carry any weight really as far as Curch doctrine is concerned and I doubt the letter was ever meant to even be made public.

I'm not convinced either that the interest in Wiccans has anything to do with Harry Potter or any of the other pop culture dealings with witches. Young people sometimes get involved with these things simply to tick off their parents. Their is also a number of people who are disaffected by traditional religion, albeit because of abuse, neglect of catechesis or any number of other causes. In seeking a solution to that that, perhapswe have to look at our selves and how well we search out the "lost sheep" and how well we tend injured ones. You can't lay that at the feet of JK Rowling.


del_button July 19, 2005 at 11:08 PM
Anonymous said...

Maybe some people chose Wicca because it spiritually fulfills them. THere's nothing wrong with it. They tend to be very eco-concerned...

del_button July 19, 2005 at 11:10 PM
Matthew said...

"Maybe some people chose Wicca because it spiritually fulfills them. THere's nothing wrong with it. They tend to be very eco-concerned..."

I'm sorry, but that is a false religion. God must be first in our lives. That is the honest truth.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 11:27 AM
Matthew said...

Of course everyone is equal. I believe this.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 7:01 PM
Anonymous said...

I read it. Finished it two days after I got it, as my friend Alli did. Twas a tad disappointing in my opinion, but good nonetheless. And I don't understand how the DaVinci Code is evil and Harry Potter isn't. The DaVinci Code is just more direct. It 'speaks lies' about God, but in HP there are witches and wizards tromping all over the London underground, isn't that against the way we're taught too?

del_button July 21, 2005 at 7:01 PM
Anonymous said...

And, Mr. M, have you ever heard of Kaballah? You should look into it.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 8:54 PM
Matthew said...


While these people of this other faith, Wicca, may be good people they still disregard the greastest of all Commandments: to love the Lord Our God with all of your Heart, your mind, and your soul. I fee that I must admonish those that are disregarding this Commandment although I don't view myself perfect by any means.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 9:01 PM
Matthew said...

"The DaVinci Code is just more direct. It 'speaks lies' about God, but in HP there are witches and wizards tromping all over the London underground, isn't that against the way we're taught too?"


In Harry Potter there are references to sins of witchcraft, but I view DaVinci worse because it is against the first Commandment and second Commandments: we are speaking down upon Our Lord and uttering lies about him. I consider the mention of sins in a fictional book much less than speaking direct lies upon Our Lord.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 9:26 PM
Anonymous said...

We've discussed this before...

You and I differ on the opinion of 'severity of sin'.

I think a sin is a sin, but whatever. I don't get it.

del_button July 21, 2005 at 11:22 PM
Matthew said...

I showed you even scripture that said some sin is worse that others. It is very, very clear. Did you read it?

And why would I want to read about Kaballah? I am a Catholic; that is what I will always be because I know that Christ gave us the Church, and it is Christ alone that I follow as He commanded us "Follow me".

del_button July 22, 2005 at 11:44 PM
Anonymous said...

Yeah, I read it. But I still don't understand; if there are no levels of forgiveness, why are there levels of sin? Breaking a law of God is breaking a law of God, no matter how small the infraction is.

del_button July 22, 2005 at 11:49 PM
Anonymous said...

Oh, and I just thought you'd find pleasure in tearing up Kaballah too, because its a blend of strict Jewish tradition and the spiritual fulfillment of other religions...actually, not even other religions, I'm pretty sure...practices that were done in the Old Times, tradition.

del_button July 23, 2005 at 10:09 AM
Matthew said...

1 John 5:16-17:

"If anyone sees his brother commit a sin that is not deadly sin, he has only to pray, and God will give life to this brother - provided that it is not a deadly sin. These is sin that leads to death and I am not saying you must pray about that. Every kind of wickedness leads to sin, but not all sin leads to death"

It is quite clear some sin is worse that others. And for these sins, Confession is required to be forgiven as Our Lord said in John 20:21-23, where he gave priests the ability to forgive such sins.

del_button June 12, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Anonymous said...

harry potter is a fictional book.

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