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Pope Pans Potter

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LifeSite.net has published two letters written in 2003 by then-Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI, in case you haven’t been paying attention) to German critic Gabriele Kuby, author of Harry Potter – gut oder böse? (Harry Potter – Good or Evil?). According to LifeSite, Kuby’s book claims that the Potter series corrupts “the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.”

Anyone who has ever read a Harry Potter novel would have to agree that J.K. Rowling’s children’s stories never touch on issues of good vs. evil, especially not, say, in the context of an ongoing battle between benevolent wizards and the malevolent forces controlled by a wizard who is the personification of evil itself. Certainly there are no lessons about morality, friendship, loyalty, bravery or any other nourishment for a young child’s soul.

In his first letter to Kuby, Cardinal Ratzinger says,

It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.

In a second letter, Ratzinger gave Kuby his blessing (so to speak) to make his “judgment” on Potter public.

It’s nice to see that the Catholic Church is pledged to protect children from all forms of evil—except for child rape, of course. But that could never “deeply distort Christianity in the soul.” Not like a Harry Potter book could.

Edited: PC
(parenthetical remarks)

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  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Nice link to the Pope, Pete – of course, he wasn’t the Pope when he made those comments, but one assumes his opinion hasn’t changed.

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Have any of his other opinions ever changed? ;)

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Anyone who has ever read a Harry Potter novel would have to agree that J.K. Rowling’s children’s stories never touch on issues of good vs. evil, especially not, say, in the context of an ongoing battle between benevolent wizards and the malevolent forces controlled by a wizard who is the personification of evil itself. Certainly there are no lessons about morality, friendship, loyalty, bravery or any other nourishment for a young child’s soul.

    He-HEE-he-he-he-he-he-he-he-hee…

    Good show, Mr. Blackwell. Harry rules!

  • http://breathoffreshink.blogspot.com Chris Evans

    ::Sigh::

    God, so sick of the extremist Christians. I really just can’t take them anymore.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Should we be giving the kiddies Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress to read instead? (I can just see the media uproar…)

  • http://parentheticalremarks.blogspot.com Pete Blackwell

    Better make it Paul Bunyan’s.

  • Eric Olsen

    headline after all the abuse settlements are finally paid off: “Pope Pans For Gold”

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    lol!!

  • http://notesfromnancy.blogspot.com NancyGail

    Oh good grief. They’re FICTION, people. Any child with a brain can tell the difference.

  • Duane

    NancyGail says,

    Oh good grief. They’re FICTION, people. Any child with a brain can tell the difference.

    Whoah. Not so fast there. That’s what a lot of people say about The Bible stories.

  • http://www.mondoirlando.com Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    hilarious, but sadly, the pope ain’t the only fella to have aired such views.

    one of the most disturbing things i have EVER heard was a radio show thingy done by a fundamentalist Christian woman who was going on about Potter being the work of satan or some such. she was without doubt the most terrifying woman i have ever heard speaking, an i might add that i have heard Mary Whitehouse saying at least three sentences in my time.

  • Toby Washington

    I was born and raised christian, my dad is a pastor, and I never thought for one seconf that the Harry Potter books would deter me from christianity. Some idot critic has too much time on their hands.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Some idot critic has too much time on their hands.

    That would be the pope, Toby.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    It’s all an Opus Dei conspiracy.

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Actually, if you think about what the pope is saying, it’s a Satan conspiracy.

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Your post has been cited in my Weekly BlogScan here on BlogCritics, this week titled “Potter and Anti-Potter”.