Saturday, January 26, 2008

He's Just The Pope. Who Gives A Damn About What He Says?
Sowing the seeds of disobedience at the parochial level
Helmet tip to Mr & Mrs NYPD

The Holy Father has already indirectly condemned the Harry Potter series for "giving children an 'unhealthy interest' in Satanism"; inspiring "new-age spirituality"; and that "the fear the young wizard story could have in ‘corrupting’ the Christian faith before it has grown".

After such strong words such as those, one would think that any prudent adult Catholic would give pause in reference to the Harry Potter books, right? And simply out of deference to The Holy Father, shouldn't said series be removed from Catholic schools? One would think.

Ahhh... but never let anything The Holy Father says get in the way of things at St. Mary's allegedly Catholic Parish/School. And yes, I've written about the goings at this particular parish and school before. Here and here. Take a gander at the latest entry in this parish/school's "The Pope Can Go To Hell" file;

From the 2d Grade weekly newsletter;

The class is really enjoying our class book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read to them every day after lunch.Charming. But I shouldn't be all that surprised that the warnings of Pope Benedict are openly ignored... the pastor at St. Mary's has already publicly stated "We must never, then, to blindly follow religious or secular leaders, no matter what their job title is."


There has been some question if Pope Benedict is actually the one responsible for the above mentioned quotes. I've done some research and found the actual article from the official Vatican news organ, L'Osservatore Romano, concerning the article entitled "Il doppio volto di Harry Potter" (The Two-Faces of Harry Potter).

The original copy of the paper can be found here (about 3/4th of the way down on the left hand side, you can see the mini-headline) , and the article itself can be found here. I've tried the AltaVista translator page, and the admittedly bad translation is eligible enough to jive with what the English-language newspapers have reported.

But back to the question at hand... was it, in fact, The Holy Father that personally stated such? Who knows. But I do know that L'Osservatore Romano is the Pope's mouthpeice. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING controversial will ever be printed in that paper without The Holy Fathers approval.

With that in mind, I've added the word "indirectly" to the first sentence of this post.


Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Ah, c'mon Cavey, dig down and get the facts on this one. The Holy Father didn't say that about Harry Potter.

Cardinal Ratzinger received a letter from someone who told him that Harry Potter was satanic, and he said that it's bad to give satanic materials to children.

The Holy Father, neither as Pope nor before, has not read Harry Potter, and has not made a pronouncement about it.

I have read the books, and did not find them to be satanic, nor in any way challenging to my faith. Harry Potter's powers are no more satanic than Superman's.

The bad guys are really evil bad guys; the good guys are good, if imperfect, and they bravely oppose evil at great risk to themselves.

They're good and uplifting stories.

I recommend you check out Nancy Brown's "The Mystery of Harry Potter, a Catholic Family Guide" and John Granger's "Looking for God in Harry Potter".

Or even check out "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" from your local library, and read it for yourself.

Look at questions like: How is marriage treated in these books? How is sexuality dealt with? How is the Church treated? How are traditional Christian symbols and Christian names employed (hint: look up St. Hedwig)?

I think you'll be presently surprised.

9:43 AM  
Blogger nypd green said...

Great read while preparing for First Communion...

It is because of nonsense like this along with the 'air of privilege' atmosphere in the two schools down here, that my children no longer attend catholic school.

10:43 AM  
Blogger nypd green said...

Oh yeah, I bet what the Pope really meant to say was, use your own judgement on this one.

I'll stick with his advice and keep my kids away from any portals to the occult. I can go to Barnes and Noble right now, find Harry Potter on the shelf, step to the left or right and I guarantee you I will find darker, more detailed materials to whet ones curiousity on witchcraft, all bound in a warm and fuzzy cover, waiting for kids to dive into.

10:58 AM  
Blogger Jeff Miller said...

The Holy Father said no such thing now or before he was Pope.

Jimmy Akin who is not a fan of the books reports on the bad coverage in the media in this lie. Jimmy Akin mentions that lifesite story and its dishonesty when it comes to this hobby hourse of theirs.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

As we both know, L'Osservatore Romano is (for lack of a better phrase) the Pope's propaganda rag. Nothing gets put in that paper without his approval, especially something as contoversial as the comments make about the books in question.

But as I posted;
After such strong words such as those, one would think that any prudent adult Catholic would give pause in reference to the Harry Potter books, right? And simply out of deference to The Holy Father, shouldn't said series be removed from Catholic schools? One would think.

As an adult Catholic, I'm sure you have looked prudently into the Harry Potter series. We disagree... but we've disagreed before. And we'll probably disagree in the future. But I still consider you my friend, Paul.

But the main point I'm getting at is this -- should this series of books be made available in Catholic Grade Schools? Especially in light of the (rather strong) opinions coming out of Rome?

11:53 AM  
Blogger nypd green said...

jeff miller...
Thanks for the Akins link. I did not know that about the lifesite story. Thanks!

Still keeping the kiddies away from Potter though.

12:17 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

2d grade?

Even Ms. Rowling wouldn't approve! The books are written not just to entrtain, but to teach reading skills. The level of skill it takes to read them is the ideal level a kid would have at the end of the school year they describe, under the old (higher) standards for British Schools.

As to what they teach kids--I greatly enjoyed all seven of the books. But I'm a grown up. I probably wouldn't give them to a middle school kid--and I'd think befor I gave them to a high school kid. Not so much on their own account, but because very many books of fantasy and "sword and sorcery" do in fact teach paganism and occultism. many of the authors do so on purpose, including best selling authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley and Mercedes Lackey--both Wiccans. The list is long.

I'll reserve jusgment, due to ignorance, but I wouldn't send my kids to that school.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Ditto to you what I posted to

Just one comment on the Akin reference you've posted -

... according to Akin

1:23 PM  

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