Trying to Skirt the Pope’s (Cardinal Ratzinger’s) Negative Appraisal of Harry Potter

By John-Henry Westen

  TORONTO, August 29, 2007 ( - Since first published online scanned copies of the letters of Cardinal Ratzinger concerning Harry Potter, many have attempted to deny the Cardinal, now Pope’s, statements on the matter.

  The latest such claim to hit the news was from a report in the Catholic News Service, the official news agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

  An article, headlined "Catholic perspective can be seen in Potter series, says priest-devotee," by Peggy Weber published on June 27, quotes a Fr. Bernier as saying, "Pope Benedict has not said anything actually about the Harry Potter books themselves. I don’t know if he’s even read them."

  The writer then goes on to report: "He told his audience of about 25 people that before he became pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, responded to a book written about the dangers of Harry Potter. He sent a note to the author thanking her for the book and said if the accusations were true then they would be of grave concern."

  The statements in the article, which has since been republished in a good number of diocesan newspapers, are inaccurate.  The Pope did in fact, say something about the Harry Potter books, which was not prefaced with a proviso questioning the truth of accusations.  Moreover, Cardinal Ratzinger gave explicit permission for his judgment on Potter to be made public.

  On March 7, 2003 then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote a letter to his friend Gabriele Kuby, the author of a book warning against Harry Potter.  The Cardinal 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". 

  Kuby, the author of "Harry Potter, good or evil?", subsequently wrote to the Cardinal again asking his permission to make his comments about Potter public. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote back, "Esteemed and dear Ms. Kuby, ... Finally this pile [of unanswered mail] is taken care of, so that I can gladly allow you to refer to my judgment about Harry Potter."

  See the original coverage:

  Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online

See related articles:
  Vatican’s Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novels

  Harry Potter, The Star Wars Series, The Matrix Are Signs of Renewal of Gnosticism

  Canada Opens First “Hogwarts” Witchcraft School

  Harry Potter and anti-Christian bigotry

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