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Vatican's Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation Of Harry Potter Nove

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saint_wannabe
[quote]Vatican's Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novels

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, March 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican's chief exorcist, Rev. Gabriele Amorth, is reported to have repeated his condemnations of the Harry Potter novels yesterday. According to press reports, Fr. Amorth, said of the books, [b]"You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the Devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books."[/b]

[b]"By reading Harry Potter a young child will be drawn into magic and from there it is a simple step to Satanism and the Devil,"[/b] he said.

The news will come as no surprise to LifeSiteNews.com readers who recall that Fr. Amorth made very similar remarks in 2002 which went misreported in the North American media, until LifeSiteNews.com clarified the matter.

In a 2002 interview with the Italian ANSA news agency, Rev. Amorth said "Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil." The exorcist, with his decades of experience in directly combating evil, explained that J.K. Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, "the satanic art". He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil." (coverage: [url="http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2002/jan/02010202.html"]http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2002/jan/02010202.html[/url] )

At the time, however, North American coverage of Rev. Amorth's warnings about Potter significantly downplayed the warnings. The New York Times coverage by Melinda Henneberger, which was carried in Canada's National Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and on Yahoo Daily News left out most of the information in the European coverage, only quoting Rev. Amorth as saying that "If children can see the movie with their parents, it's not all bad."

North America's most prominent Harry Potter critic, Michael O'Brien, has told LifeSiteNews.com that the movie version has significantly cleaned up Harry's image, making it far less troublesome than the books.

Another condemnation of Harry Potter coming from Rome was not widely reported until LifeSiteNews.com's intervention. When in 2003, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger allowed his comments against the novels to be aired publicly, the news was reported in Europe, but not in America. However, when in 2005 LifeSiteNews.com published Ratzinger's letter concerning Potter online, the international media exploded with the news that the new Pope opposed Harry Potter. (coverage: [url="http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05071301.html"]http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05071301.html[/url] )

Writing to Germany's best known Potter critic Gabriele Kuby, the man who was to become Pope Benedict XVI wrote, "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."[/quote]

[url="http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06030104.html"]http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2006/mar/06030104.html[/url]

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Raphael
I don't think the books are harmless, but I also think it's a bit extreme to say that they have the mark of satan all over them. They have Christian themes in abundance, many Christian ideals, and they use a common literary form of "magic" known as "white magic." While Rev. Amorth is correct about all magic being evil in reality, I think that "white magic" is a common enough literary technique (Narnia, LOTR, not to mention innumerable fairy tales) that no one can very seriously consider HP an intrinsic threat. It can be harmful, though, depending on the situation of the reader...is the person old enough to know that all magic is evil, etc.?

I don't know. That's just my opinion. I find the plot to be excellent and I definitely know that, in reality, all magic is evil, but as a literary medium for the plot, I don't think there's anything wrong with it, as long as the readers understand the truth. I would definitely advise parents to keep their youth from reading it unless they are well formed morally.

God bless,

Micah

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gamesfanatic04
:( I would expect that kind of thing from protestants. It's really to bad, they are very good books and they get children to read, and reading leads to actually learning something.

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Fencer
"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.

And besides, in English, this letter has a very different connotation.

"As Fr. Fleetwood points out, the wording in the German is generic and “subtle seductions” does not point to Harry Potter the way the LifeSiteNews.com translation presents it. The German language version in fact reads more like a description of poisons that don’t allow plants to grow normally in the soil. It congratulates the author for being watchful for such subtle seductions in even children’s books but does not say that Harry Potter is one of these."

-hogwartsprofessor.com

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Archaeology cat
[quote name='gamesfanatic04' post='1329733' date='Jul 15 2007, 09:10 PM']:( I would expect that kind of thing from protestants. It's really to bad, they are very good books and they get children to read, and reading leads to actually learning something.[/quote]

Goodness, it was the only thing my little brother, or some of my students, would read at first! These books have sparked an interest in reading. Of course, I do feel that parents should always read what their children are reading and discuss it with them, and make sure the book is appropriate for that particular child.

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kateri05
[quote]ROME, March 1, 2006[/quote]

this article has been quoted on here numerous times... note the date. any NEW ammo? :rolleyes:


btw, ditto on everything micah said ;)

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Totus Tuus
I have never been comfortable with anything having to do with HP. I never did that much research on it, but personally I get depressed when I watch the movies because they're so dark (as far as both the storyline and the cinematography). There seems to be something strange about having childrens' movies that we shouldn't let your children watch unless we know for certain they're well-formed. Is it worth the risk just for entertainment? Can't they watch all of those other great movies that we [i]know[/i] will benefit them instead? The only circumstance in which I can see HP being a beneficial thing to watch is in a family sitting, where your children are well-formed, and you can have a good and enriching discussion afterwards. And that's all a little ideal as it is.

Anyway, just my .02.

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goldenchild17
[quote name='Raphael' post='1329718' date='Jul 15 2007, 02:52 PM']I don't think the books are harmless, but I also think it's a bit extreme to say that they have the mark of satan all over them. They have Christian themes in abundance, many Christian ideals, and they use a common literary form of "magic" known as "white magic." While Rev. Amorth is correct about all magic being evil in reality, I think that "white magic" is a common enough literary technique (Narnia, LOTR, not to mention innumerable fairy tales) that no one can very seriously consider HP an intrinsic threat. It can be harmful, though, depending on the situation of the reader...is the person old enough to know that all magic is evil, etc.?

I don't know. That's just my opinion. I find the plot to be excellent and I definitely know that, in reality, all magic is evil, but as a literary medium for the plot, I don't think there's anything wrong with it, as long as the readers understand the truth. I would definitely advise parents to keep their youth from reading it unless they are well formed morally.

God bless,

Micah[/quote]

I agree completely on the literary magic etc. I just guess I disagree that Harry Potter is white magic. I think ESPECIALLY when compared the Narnia/LOTR which I believe are great (although LOTR bores me still) the difference in use of magic is clearly shown. And that's just my opinion ;)

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saint_wannabe
but this is the chief exorcist of the Vatican who is against it, and this isnt some average dude he has exorcised over 50,000 demons he knows a thing or too about evil
and also even the pope Benedict is against these book. i still dont understand why you guys are for it.

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KnightofChrist
[quote name='saint_wannabe' post='1330102' date='Jul 15 2007, 08:34 PM']but this is the chief exorcist of the Vatican who is against it, and this isnt some average dude he has exorcised over 50,000 demons he knows a thing or too about evil
and also even the pope Benedict is against these book. i still dont understand why you guys are for it.[/quote]

Exactly! He's fought the "author" all his life, he's seen things in real life we've only partly seen in our nightmares for him its easy know Satan signature!

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KnightofChrist
[quote name='KnightofChrist' post='1300906' date='Jun 24 2007, 08:10 PM']The Pope's Head exorcist believes such books have the "signature of the king of the darkness, the devil." That is something you should [b]pray deeply[/b] on, and leave wide open to the possibility that they are indeed evil. After all we're not talking about some hick from the swamps of Louisiana who thinks everything from Ben Franklin to little girls are the devil. This is the Vatican's head Exorcist, this holy man has studied evil the whole of his adult life, there is a great likely hood he is right. I have sincere doubt he would say such a thing without knowing and studying the Harry Potter books.[/quote]

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Lounge Daddy
My wife reads the books first - and then reads them to the kids. There are some unsettling and violent things that she skips over when she reads them to the kids, esp the bit about Dumbledore in the last book.

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kateri05
[quote]and also even the pope Benedict is against these book.[/quote]

proof please. i don't believe that the Pope has ever said anything as Pope regarding this matter.

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saint_wannabe
[quote name='kateri05' post='1330145' date='Jul 15 2007, 08:57 PM']proof please. i don't believe that the Pope has ever said anything as Pope regarding this matter.[/quote]
[url="http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jun/05062709.html"]http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jun/05062709.html[/url]

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kateri05
wrong. #1, wasn't the pope, its when he was a cardinal, and #2, thats a total misrepresentation of what he said.

[quote]Has the Pope Condemned Harry Potter?
by Dr. Jeff Mirus
July 16, 2005

A LifeSiteNews article from last week, headlined “Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels”, made it appear that Benedict XVI has read the Potter books and found them dangerous. Given the release a few days later of the sixth novel in J. K. Rowling’s famous series, the timing of the story can only be considered brilliant by those who oppose the Harry Potter phenomenon. This news is already swirling around the Internet.

When contacted by LifeSiteNews, Potter opponent and Catholic novelist Michael O’Brien was quick to state that this judgment “reveals the Holy Father’s depth and wide ranging gifts of spiritual discernment” and that “it is consistent with many of the statements he’s been making since his election to the Chair of Peter, indeed for the past 20 years.” O’Brien concluded that Benedict XVI “is the father of the universal church and we would do well to listen to him.”

Now I’ve made no secret of the fact that I regard the Harry Potter series as a set of rollicking good adventure stories, filled with both humor and moral sense, and in general dangerous to nobody. Of course, there is no telling how a particular individual will respond to any book, and I certainly don’t propose that parents who judge these books potentially dangerous to their children should follow my judgment instead of their own. Indeed, men and women of good will can disagree about Harry Potter.

What Really Happened

But there is less room for disagreement about the abuse of references to papal authority to bolster one’s own point of view. In the present case, there is so much wrong with the LifeSiteNews story and O’Brien’s response to it that both must be faulted for a significant failure of objectivity. I submit the following as a fair summary of the bare facts:


In early 2003, at a conference on the New Age sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture, one of the presenters, Peter Fleedwood, made an off-hand remark which led much of the world’s press to report that Pope John Paul II approved of the Harry Potter books.

Immediately afterwards, Cardinal Ratzinger apparently received a letter of complaint about Fleedwood’s remarks from a German woman who also enclosed her book, entitled Harry Potter—Good or Evil?, which argued that the Potter series corrupts the hearts of the young and prevents them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil.

On March 7, Cardinal Ratzinger replied to Ms. Kuby in two very brief paragraphs thanking her for the book and remarking “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.” He then suggested that Ms. Kuby “write to Mr. Peter Fleedwood . . . directly and send him your book.”

A little later, Cardinal Ratzinger received a second letter from Ms. Kuby requesting his permission to make his letter public. On May 27, 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger answered with one more very brief paragraph, in which he graciously apologized for his slowness to reply and stated that “I can gladly allow you to refer to my judgment about Harry Potter.”
Now, at what point does private correspondence from Joseph Ratzinger when he was a cardinal become, in any sense, a judgment of Joseph Ratzinger as Pope? Further, at what point in this correspondence do we find a clear and precise statement of any kind, let alone one that is not only consistent with Cardinal Ratzinger’s entire body of work but also an integral part of his message thus far as Pope? Indeed, at what point does anything in this correspondence remotely suggest that Cardinal Ratzinger had even read any of the Harry Potter books? Finally at what point do these letters necessarily go so much as one step beyond ordinary graciousness and encouragement to a well-meaning author who was attempting to do good?

What Does This Really Mean?

An interpretation at least just as likely—and I believe far more likely—is that Cardinal Ratzinger was in the habit of giving kindly replies to authors who sent him books. He saw that Ms. Kuby had advanced a number of pious arguments about certain problems she claimed to find in the Potter books and, taking these at face value, he replied that her work was valuable in alerting the public to this sort of problem. At the same time, as this was very likely nothing more than a gracious reply, he avoided giving the least hint that he too had read the books and found them wanting, or that he agreed that the problems Ms. Kuby identified were actually characteristic of J. K. Rowling’s work. I suggest that any good and intelligent Church official, if he had not read the Potter books, would have responded in precisely this way.

I also note that Cardinal Ratzinger refrained from any specific reference by which anyone could possibly know what he meant by those “subtle seductions”. In context, this would appear to be an encouraging reference to the seductions identified by Ms. Kuby, without any judgment on Cardinal Ratzinger’s part that these seductions were actually present in the Potter books. In any case, just as any of us would do in writing a similar reply in a similar circumstance, he closed by stating that Ms. Kuby really should send her material directly to the man about whom she was complaining. In other words, his main purpose was not to make a judgment but to redirect the author’s ardor to the correct department.

[b]The attempt to broker this correspondence into a profound and even magisterial pronouncement is unworthy of both LifeSiteNews and Michael O’Brien, who has much better claims to fame than his opposition to Harry Potter. First, the letters don’t necessarily say anything to the purpose. Second, even if they did, they would still be the private correspondence of a cardinal, worthy of interest certainly, but of no more ultimate value than a well-informed parental judgment.

To make of them anything more is to violate the rules of evidence, and to misuse the authority of the Church to favor one’s own cause.[/b][/quote]

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