Skip to comments.Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online
Posted on 07/13/2005 12:49:13 AM PDT by dsc
Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online
RIMSTING, Germany, July 13, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - LifeSiteNews.com has obtained and made available online copies of two letters sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was recently elected Pope, to a German critic of the Harry Potter novels. In March 2003, a month after the English press throughout the world falsely proclaimed that Pope John Paul II approved of Harry Potter, the man who was to become his successor sent a letter to a Gabriele Kuby outlining his agreement with her opposition to J.K. Rowling's offerings. (See below for links to scanned copies of the letters signed by Cardinal Ratzinger.)
As the sixth issue of Rowling's Harry Potter series - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - is about to be released, the news that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expressed serious reservations about the novels is now finally being revealed to the English-speaking world still under the impression the Vatican approves the Potter novels.
In a letter dated March 7, 2003 Cardinal Ratzinger thanked Kuby for her "instructive" book Harry Potter - gut oder böse (Harry Potter- good or evil?), in which Kuby says the Potter books corrupt 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.
"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," wrote Cardinal Ratzinger.
The letter also encouraged Kuby to send her book on Potter to the Vatican prelate who quipped about Potter during a press briefing which led to the false press about the Vatican support of Potter. At a Vatican press conference to present a study document on the New Age in April 2003, one of the presenters - Fr. Peter Fleedwood - made a positive comment on the Harry Potter books in response to a question from a reporter. Headlines such as "Pope Approves Potter" (Toronto Star), "Pope Sticks Up for Potter Books" (BBC), "Harry Potter Is Ok With The Pontiff" (Chicago Sun Times) and "Vatican: Harry Potter's OK with us" (CNN Asia) littered the mainstream media.
In a second letter sent to Kuby on May 27, 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger "gladly" gave his permission to Kuby to make public "my judgement about Harry Potter."
The most prominent Potter critic in North America, Catholic novelist and painter Michael O'Brien commented to LifeSiteNews.com on the "judgement" of now-Pope Benedict saying, "This discernment on the part of Benedict XVI reveals the Holy Father's depth and wide ranging gifts of spiritual discernment." O'Brien, author of a book dealing with fantasy literature for children added, "it is consistent with many of the statements he's been making since his election to the Chair of Peter, indeed for the past 20 years - a probing accurate read of the massing spiritual warfare that is moving to a new level of struggle in western civilization. He is a man in whom a prodigious intellect is integrated with great spiritual gifts. He is the father of the universal church and we would do well to listen to him."
English translations of the two letters by Cardinal Ratzinger follow:
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Vatican City March 7, 2003
Esteemed and dear Ms. Kuby!
Many thanks for your kind letter of February 20th and the informative book which you sent me in the same mail. 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.
I would like to suggest that you write to Mr. Peter Fleedwood, (Pontifical Council of Culture, Piazza S. Calisto 16, I00153 Rome) directly and to send him your book.
Sincere Greetings and Blessings,
+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger Vatican City May 27, 2003
Esteemed and dear Ms. Kuby,
Somehow your letter got buried in the large pile of name-day , birthday and Easter mail. Finally this pile is taken care of, so that I can gladly allow you to refer to my judgment about Harry Potter.
Sincere Greetings and Blessings,
+ Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Links to the scanned copies of the two signed letters by Cardinal Ratzinger (in German) - In PDF format: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005_docs/ratzingerletter.pdf http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005_docs/ratzingerpermission.pdf
I NEVER thought I would write this, but I'm beginning to like this guy. Apparently he's for real...we'll see.
You are correct.
*** His book is a grab bag of "Examples" demonstrating the world is full of demons and the occult. Deep analysis is not his forte. Just a laundry list of 388 numbered "example***
I have a friend, an older gentleman, who knew Dr. Koch personally and consulted with him.
Your are mischaracterizing him. He was a man of considerable learning.
My experience is reading a couple of dozen books, including one of Koch's. The guy wasn't quite all there.
Yes there is. The vast majority of entertainment is religiously neutral, taking sides in religion is bad for business, smart authors tread there very lightly or preferably not at all. HP has nothing to do with religion, it's just a fantasy story in an imaginary world that has a different concept for magic than we do. The closest you get to religion in HP is that every school year has a Christmas break repleat with the normal trapping of Christmas out here in reality (tree, presents, fattening food). That's about all you get.
He is also the author of more than "one" book....
Christian Counseling and Occultism [New/Used]
The Complete Guide to Architectural Carving [New/Used]
Demonology, Past and Present: Identifying and Overcoming Demonic Strongholds [New/Used]
Lure of the Occult [New/Used]
Occult ABC [New/Used]
Occult Bondage and Deliverance [New/Used]
Occult Practices and Beliefs [New/Used]
Between Christ and Satan [Used]
Charismatic Gifts [Used]
CHRISTIAN COUNSELLING AND OCCULTISM The Counselling of the Psychically Disturbed and those Oppressed through involvement in Occultism [Used]
Coming One [Used]
Darkness or Light [Used]
Day X [Used]
Demonology Past and Present [Used]
The Devil's Alphabet [Used]
God Among the Zulus [Used]
Revival Fires in Canada [Used]
The Revival In Indonesia [Used]
The Strife of Tongues [Used]
Victory Through Persecution [Used]
Wine of God: The Holy Spirit Leads in All Truth. Revival in Indonesia, Formosa, Solomon Islands and South India [Used]
Wine of God-Revival in Indonesia, Formosa, Solomon Islands and South India. [Used]
World without chance? [Used]
You two "experts" look silly trying to knock him.
Say it as many times as you want, you'll be wrong each and every time.
***My experience is reading a couple of dozen books, including one of Koch's. The guy wasn't quite all there.***
Koch WROTE more books than you have READ on the subject.
Can't we all just get along? < /snicker>
Don't knock reading a book or two. It's more reliable than taking the word of some Landover Baptist web site about how distinguished an expert Dr Koch is.
If you actually read his work, you [well maybe not you specifically] would realize that compared to Kurt Koch, Montague Summers was the model of cold analytical skepticism.
Most of the time I spent studying the occult was spent with primary sources, I read extensively from Crowley and Levi and various (generally obviously fake once you got a few pages in) versions of "ancient" books like the Necronomicon. I started with secondary sources like Koch but they just weren't giving me the information I wanted. I was trying to find REAL occult stuff in things I was enjoying and certain people were condemning, couldn't find it in secondary sources, so I went to primary sources. And again I couldn't find it, found plenty of real occult stuff in those primary sources of course, but found nothing that actually related to the stuff that was being condemned. And there's a good reason for that: it simply isn't there. Wasn't there in D&D, wasn't there in fantasy metal (outside of the nutty few like Danzig that freely admit it, my hunt was for the "subtle influences" in the more mainstream stuff that the condemners are always proclaiming, of course the look for anything subtle in heavy metal is generally doomed from the start), isn't there in HP. They simply are not occult gateways of any kind.
No he didn't, well maybe by 1 or 2. But with the volume he wrote and the volume I read a difference of a couple books is not material.
***The essence of moral evil is "my will be done."***
It also gives children a taste for "spiritual power".
I have commented several times on these two threads that HP books entice children with the fantasy of having wonderful powers to control others with magic. Others including the natural world, and other people and animals. This is exactly the foundation of "black magic". People believing or not believing such powers existence doens't make any difference - the seed of the matter is the HP books strongly and seductively encourage the desire to be Lord, and to achieve any means to do it, including the glittery world of magic.
Control of others, not control of self, which is the real duty and objective of life.
***It's more reliable than taking the word of some Landover Baptist web site about how distinguished an expert Dr Koch is.***
What are you talking about?
*** If you actually read his work****
***They simply are not occult gateways of any kind.***
That simply isn't true. I can't tell you ther number of people I know personally who have found music a motivation force in their pursuit of occultism.
You are blind to it's influence.
It simply is true. I can tell you the number of people I know personally that have never found music a motivation force in their persuit of anything but more music: ALL of them. It is NOT a gateway. Anyone that tells you the music they listened to led them to the occult is LYING to you. They were already interested in the occult and picked music accordingly.
And I am so glad I placed a qualifier my statement
***. Anyone that tells you the music they listened to led them to the occult is LYING to you. ***
You can't tell me these people don't exist.
I know them.
*** And I am so glad I placed a qualifier my statement***
I saw that.
I can tell you these people don't exist, because they don't. Occult stuff in fantasy metal always leads to bad things in the song, anyone getting "inspired" by these songs isn't paying attention, which means they obviously aren't being inspired. That might be their excuse, but one of the first rules of excuse mongers is to never believe their excuse, they're just deflecting the truth. The truth is people turn to the occult because they decided to turn to the occult, the soundtrack they had before or after is immaterial.
As much as I want to continue this I'm going to have to drop off here to pursue work today (looming deadline). I'll be watching the thread for further gross distortions by you two and hopefully be back tomorrow should this thread live.
PS Ozboy, we had some good fun with your nom de plume last night - I hope you didn't mind!
Anybody can hope
Therer have been no gross distortions by me. There is no occult in HP, it is not a gateway, and that's the plainly obvious truth.
Good luck, get done.
OK now I'm offended!
I don't think you've been gross either ;)
You are assuming that we are so morally weak that we are easily seduced by such influences. How subtly insulting.
For younger children (7-8 years), the Ramona series, Charlotte's Web, and the Little House Series.
For a little older children (4th/ 5th grades), Caddie Woodlawn, the Mixed Up Files of Miss Basil E. Frankweiler, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Number the Stars, and A Door in the Wall.
For junior high age kids, the Cynthia Voight series (especially Homecoming and Dicey's Song), the Giver, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and the old HS freshman standbys (To Kill a Mockingbird and The Diary of Anne Frank).
(If you would like to be added to my Catholic Ping List, please send a Freepmail.)
I've pretty much stayed out of this debate, and it probably isn't the biggest issue we face today, but I will say this: I have seen a lot of rather defensive posts on the topic.
Mainsteaming witchcraft into American culture is not exactly a "small issue".
I'm one of those people who believe in the supernatural forces of good and evil. How a Christan could endorse or turn a blind eye to this plague is beyond me.
I would add that there is an unfortunate tendency to downplay the reality of evil, and especially of the evil one, among Catholics. That goes for "liberal" and "conservative" Catholics.
Links to the scanned copies of the two signed letters by Cardinal Ratzinger (in German) - In PDF format:
See LifeSite's Harry Potter resource section at:
>>For cryin' out loud, they're fantasy novels, get over it.
Take a look around you... How much of our culture has been influenced by books, movies, and television?
How has the concept of love and romance been affected? Do you think there is any relation to how Hollywood treats sex and the number of kids participating in it?
Print, television, and film help to define the culture. Young people take what is presented to them in these media formats, and they integrate it into thier belief system.
So, there isn't anything to get over. Rather, open your eyes and realize how *negative* books, film, and other media can be.
That's quite a bit more broad a statement/complaint than Harry Potter isn't it? You could say "Hey there is sin everywhere and some people aren't Christians!!! what are we going to do about it???".
Well said...that's why I particularly like then-Cardinal Ratzinger's statement that what we're dealing with are "subtle seductions." That's a very good way to put it.
Okay, so let's just ban everything that we don't like, and throw away the same freedoms we fight for.
>>Okay, so let's just ban everything that we don't like, and throw away the same freedoms we fight for.
I wasn't aware *you* were fighting for freedom..
And I never said to ban everthing we don't like.. What I'm saying is that this opposition from the Pope to the faithful should not be ignored by the faithful. Society could learn a thing or two by not ignoring it as well...
This culture of death, culture of sex, exists *primarily* because of the support of the Christian community. It's time the Christian community wake up and smell the coffee -- and stop reading books and watching movies which preserve the perverse culture we live in...
I don't think the faithful *should* be blindly following what the Pope says. Each individual should take from the entertainment industry what they themselves see and make their choices accordingly.
Certain books, movies, etc. I may not agree with, and I won't read/watch them. Nevertheless, I wouldn't assume that everyone wanted my opinion on what they should think. What makes the Pope's opinion more important than anyone else's? Yea, he's dedicated to his faith, possibly more than anyone, but devotion to anything doesn't necessarily make someone any more equipped to tell others what to think.
The whole position of Pope can be summed up with two words: sheep herder.
>>I don't think the faithful *should* be blindly following what the Pope says.
And what makes you so wise to say so? What credentials concerning the faith do you have? And on what authority do you make such a statement?
How many years of theology have you studied? How much have you written which has been reviewed by the Bishops??
>>Nevertheless, I wouldn't assume that everyone wanted my opinion on what they should think.
aha, but you already assumed that already by proclaiming "I don't think the faithful *should* be blindly following what the Pope says". You already gave your opinion on how people should think.
You basically told everybody how they should think, something you deny that the pope should do.
So do they blindly follow you or the pope?
>>What makes the Pope's opinion more important than anyone else's
Credentials. Experience. Education. Position. Guidance of the Spirit. Faith. Visible leader of the Church. Advice of the Episcopate. Intelligence. Theological Education. Experience with the Congregation for the Doctrine & Faith. Relationship with Christ. Input of theologians world wide...
Need any more reasons why his opinions are more important than anyone else??
>>doesn't necessarily make someone any more equipped to tell others what to think.
>>The whole position of Pope can be summed up with two words: sheep herder.
Maybe to you, but those who listen to this "sheep herder" may not know the exact reason why behind the beliefs, but could easily find the answers.
Not knowing the intricate details doesn't mean the sheep are wrong. And watch out, because the resources of the Church are availble to the sheep, and many of them could wipe the floor with you in a debate on the positions of the Papacy...
Greetings all...I find it unbelievable that there are 800+ posts for something like this...Any thing on this planet could end up being used or viewed as contrary to God and a potential a distraction to faith...money, the occult, food and so on and so on and so on...we're surrounded by temptation, tests etc.....the goal is to focus on Christ and leave the rest behind...now all of you please get some rest and read the scriptures...