Thursday, July 14, 2005

New Pope Thinks Harry Potter Is Bad For Children

There is an article out today about how Pope Benedict wrote a letter a couple years ago criticizing J.K. Rowlings', Harry Potter books.

You can read about it here.

In his letter then Cardinal Ratzinger said that the stories, “erode Christianity in the soul” of young people.

His comments were made in a letter to the author of a book he read by a roman catholic sociologist, Gabriele Kuby. The book, entitled 'Harry Potter – Good or Evil', argues that the stories "blur the boundaries between good and evil"... as if those lines are not already blurred enough by the Roman Catholic Church.

In his letter the then cardinal thanked the author "for his informative book."
“It is good that you are throwing light on Harry Potter, because these are subtle seductions that work imperceptibly, and because of that deeply, and erode Christianity in the soul before it can even grow properly,” the letter added.

It seems obvious that Kuby's book is the Pope's only source of information about the Harry Potter series. It seems a very safe wager that he has never actually read them himself. If he had, he would have known that the characters in the series are Christians themselves and the celebrate Christian holidays like Christmas and Easter.

And the line between good and evil is very clear in the books, with Dumbledore and Harry representing good by displaying compassion and forgivenes (both qualities espoused by Jesus) and Voldemort and his death-eaters representing evil by displaying callous creulty and by committing random acts of torture and murder.

The Pope's condemnation is based on a position of ignorance. He and the author are making the knee jerk reaction that anything "magical" must be inherently evil.

This is an example of exactly the kind of intolerance that was the hallmark of the Catholic Church in it's prime. It is a prime example of why Catholicism has fallen in the last century to a church that isn't taken seriously by the majority of the world.

60% of Americans identify themselves as Catholic, but we have only ever had one Catholic President because the vast majority of Americans do not trust the Church.
We remember all too clearly the abuses of power by the Church when it was in it's prime and we remember all too clearly the damage that the unthinking, intolerant dogma caused when it was taken seriously.

Many American Catholics do not believe in the Church dogma, and many are flocking to other denominations specificly because of ignorant statements of condemnation like this one.

Pope Benedict said that he wanted to heal the rifts between the denominations when he first took the pointy hat and if he was serious about that then he needs to come out publicly and retract his statements or risk losing even more credibility.

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