The following is a post by Patrick Madrid who has also warned against the spiritual dangers of Harry Potter.
First, some preliminary comments by Fr. Richard Heilman: I have to admit that up until I invited a very holy priest, Fr. Isaac Mary Relyea, to my parishes to give a Lenten Mission on the Four Last Things (listen here), I simply had never heard any of the warnings in regard to Harry Potter. And so, like any good pastor who is concerned for the spiritual well-being of his flock, I did some checking (via google). There it was … with little more than a ten minute search on the internet, I found concerns raised by none other than Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger), Cardinal Arinze, Cardinal Burke and the chief exorcist to Rome, Fr. Gabriele Amorth. See previous post).
Moreover, I was not prepared for the inordinate intensity of push-back on this topic. I was simply stunned by the over-the-top outrage toward someone who simply wanted to warn others about the potential spiritual dangers of HP. Frankly, it was in the realm of creepy to me, because it was so very intense. It left me wondering if the supernatural was involved here.
Fair warning to pastors … your choice to broach this subject will, in all likelihood, bring assaults that are severe and personal. For me, I simply chose to pick other battles for now … I did not feel it was worth going to war over this while there are seemingly endless things to warn our flocks about. In the meantime, I plan to do more research to see why these most prominent Roman Catholic Church figures are warning us about HP.
Here is Patrick Madrid’s recent post:
Among the odd things I’ve seen in the Catholic world, one of the oddest is the capacity of some Catholic Harry Potter fans to go zero-to-60 on the manic meter instantaneously at the mere suggestion that there might be something spiritually deleterious about HP. Someone who’s done more than suggest this is Canadian Catholic author and artist, Michael O’Brien, earning himself some, at times raucous, push-back from those who disagree with him.
I’ve known Michael personally for about 16 years now and know him to be astute, prudent, humble, deeply intellectual and, to be frank, a sage in the area of Catholic spirituality. In my estimation, his critique of HP, while unpopular with most HP-lovers, is bang-on-the-bullseye accurate. (Some years ago, he and I recorded a two-hour discussion of the problems involved with the HP phenomenon that showcases his lucid and compelling reasoning on this issue.)
My guess is that because Michael’s critique of HP is more sophisticated and substantive than any of the arguments I have yet seen mounted in defense of it, he gets under some people’s skin when they realize they can’t invalidate his analysis. One also notices at times a sharp contrast between the calm restraint which characterizes Michael’s presentation and the asperity of some who attempt to rebut him. In any case, as reported the other day by Lifesitenews.com, Michael O’Brien has recently taken the occasion to rebut the rebutters.
The July 18 LifeSiteNews story, Harry Potter expert criticizes Vatican newspaper’s glowing review of Deathly Hallows 2, was widely read and elicited many comments both pro and con, especially regarding the statements of Potter critic Michael O’Brien. In response to this, LifeSiteNews conducted an additional, in-depth interview with O’Brien to allow him to expand on his views and respond to some of the many comments readers posted beneath the story.
In the interview O’Brien explains why he became involved in critiquing the Harry Potter series, his views on why the series has become so popular and the astonishing and at times hateful criticism that Potter critics have received, such as O’Brien himself being called “the anti-Christ” by a Potter fan. O’Brien also answers the question of what he means by “the evil means” used by Harry to defeat Voldemort, why Harry Potter is not just “entertainment”, why it is appropriate for LifeSiteNews to cover the Harry Potter issue, how Rowling’s pro-homosexual views may be reflected in the novels, and more . . . (continue reading)
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