Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pope Pans Potter

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.
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