Skip to comments.Vatican's Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novels
Posted on 09/01/2006 6:48:30 PM PDT by Coleus
Vatican's Chief Exorcist Repeats Condemnation of Harry Potter Novel
ROME, March 1, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Vatican's chief exorcist, Rev. Gabriele Amorth, is reported to have repeated his condemnations of the Harry Potter novels yesterday. According to press reports, Fr. Amorth, said of the books, "You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the Devil. There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these books." "By reading Harry Potter a young child will be drawn into magic and from there it is a simple step to Satanism and the Devil," he said. The news will come as no surprise to LifeSiteNews.com readers who recall that Fr. Amorth made very similar remarks in 2002 which went misreported in the North American media, until LifeSiteNews.com clarified the matter.
In a 2002 interview with the Italian ANSA news agency, Rev. Amorth said "Behind Harry Potter hides the signature of the king of the darkness, the devil." The exorcist, with his decades of experience in directly combating evil, explained that J.K. Rowling's books contain innumerable positive references to magic, "the satanic art". He noted that the books attempt to make a false distinction between black and white magic, when in fact, the distinction "does not exist, because magic is always a turn to the devil." (coverage: Rome's Chief Exorcist Warns Parents Against Harry Potter)
At the time, however, North American coverage of Rev. Amorth's warnings about Potter significantly downplayed the warnings. The New York Times coverage by Melinda Henneberger, which was carried in Canada's National Post, the San Francisco Chronicle and on Yahoo Daily News left out most of the information in the European coverage, only quoting Rev. Amorth as saying that "If children can see the movie with their parents, it's not all bad." North America's most prominent Harry Potter critic, Michael O'Brien, has told LifeSiteNews.com that the movie version has significantly cleaned up Harry's image, making it far less troublesome than the books.
Another condemnation of Harry Potter coming from Rome was not widely reported until LifeSiteNews.com's intervention. When in 2003, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger allowed his comments against the novels to be aired publicly, the news was reported in Europe, but not in America. However, when in 2005 LifeSiteNews.com published Ratzinger's letter concerning Potter online, the international media exploded with the news that the new Pope opposed Harry Potter. (coverage: Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels - Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online )
Writing to Germany's best known Potter critic Gabriele Kuby, the man who was to become Pope Benedict XVI 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."
Vatican exorcist Amorth speaks on Satan's smoke
Fr. Gabriel Amorth on the Reform of the Rite of Exorcism
An Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth - The Church's Leading Exorcist
Interview With Fr Gabriele Amorth: an exorcist in the diocese of Rome
Italian Exorcists Dispel Misconceptions
You have the HP ping list, don't you? Apologies if I'm wrong.
I have always been uncomfortable with the more occultic elements of HP. The stories themselves are very entertaining and compelling, which is what attracts both children and adults alike. However, I agree with those who say that the stories have grown increasingly dark.
Many people also disagree with me, so I can relate to the poster above. One of my managers at the office where I work is also a Minister, who pastors a small church and preaches every Sunday. We speak often, and one day I described to him the closing scene of the most recent HP movie, where Harry is transported from the maze he has been competing in, to a location where Voldmort is waiting. Voldmort then procedes to perform a spell, using HP's blood as a part of the spell, which returns him from his vaporous state to his former corporal body.
When I described the details of the spell, as protrayed in the movie, the person I was speaking with was amazed. He had dealt with satanic cults when he was younger, he said, and he claimed that the spell I described from the movie is identical to a REAL, and very nasty, spell that satanists use.
I don't know for sure if this is true, as I have never hung out with satanic cultists before. However, if true, it begs the question - why the accuracy?? Rowling has said in several interviews that the magic in her HP novels is not "real", that everything is "made up". Then why the surprising "accuracy" in the portrayal of one of the darkest spells shown in the movie (and books) to date??
In addition, at one time I was myself was doing some googling on HP, and came across a wicca site that was set up by people who practice witchcraft, and were using the site as a discussion formum. These wiccans were discussing the HP novels in general, and they were very complimentary of Rowling. They said that she "got her magic right", and that it was all very "accurate".
So, I am not sure what to make of Rowling's claim that she simply "makes up" the maic in her novels. As a result, I think the Father Amorth makes some valid points. For all of these reasons, I maintain that these novels are not for children, and I would not let my kids read them.
First off, there is not such thing as the position of the "Vatican's Chief Exorcist. As Jimmy Akin states
"There is no "chief exorcist" position at the Vatican. Fr. Amorth is a priest of the Diocese of Rome who happens to be one of a number of exorcists there. He is the most well-known and prominent of them, but this does not give him the position of "chief exorcist of the Vatican.""
As Jimmy also notes:
The fact is that Fr. Amorth is an individual given to making sweeping statements that are not firmly grounded and that are subject to a credulous mindset that is too ready to see possession (full-blown or not).
How else can one explain his claim--in his book An Exorcist Tells His Story--to have performed thirty THOUSAND exorcisms in a nine year period? That's nine exorcisms PER DAY for nine years--Sundays included!
If this claim is remotely accurate then the man is a walking exorcism factory.
It is simply impossible to reconcile this claim with the Church's requirements for the performance of exorcisms, which include (among other things) diligent evaluation of the individuals to be exorcised to determine that they are not simply suffering from psychological illness.
One more recent report indicates that the number of exorcisms he has performed had risen to 50,000 as of 2001.
It is therefore very difficult to place much weight in claims made by Fr. Amorth on such matters.
I've had a heroine addiction since the 11 year old me discovered Nancy Blackett in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons. It was her "resourcefulness - determination - and a certain disrespect for rules".
I love the HP Books, especially in light of how (IMHO) the events reflect the terror, and evil in the world-both past and present.
The evil, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named rises to power on a platform of racial purity..those not of pure blood must be eliminated.
In Order of the Phoenix, when confronted with the growing menace of evil, murder, and terror, the students are told that non-retaliation and negotiation are the better option by a Government mandated teacher who takes control of the Hogwart's school, and it's curriculum.
The children are told there is no threat, and the government, because it is in denial, refuses to acknowledge that there are those who wish to kill the everyday folks who don't wish to embrace their beliefs.
In the book, one of the heroes says that while evil cannot be eliminated, it can be contained, and some things are worth dying for in that fight against evil.
I could go on about the books for hours-the Death Eaters operate like a terrorist cell-some of them have respectable fronts in the community, but when they get the call (the dark mark), they go into action carrying out whatever task has been assigned to them by their leader.
There are people who exert influence on government by virtue of throwing money around to certain officials.
The lamestream Media in the books tries to discredit those who speak out about the growing menace of terrorism.
I just think there is so much in the books that is relevant to what's going on today, and since the story takes place in a fascinating, magical world..kids are going to be interested in reading it.
As to the spells-I can say "scourgify" all day long, and my house isn't going to clean itself, or "occulis reparo", and my glasses will still be broken.
Yeah, and I could REALLY use that one, dang it!
This is all so much clap-trap! I love the books, and am a faithful Catholic. The books don't threaten me or my kids, who are also hugh fans, and it hasn't turned us away from the Church or toward the Devil. In fact, Harry Potter respresents a large part of the fight against evil in his world, and I think kids like identifying with that.
*** "I can't see it [popularity of Harry Potter] doing anything but help magick. First of all, it presents magick in a positive light and I have to hand it to Rowling's [sic] she captures an almost Thelemic neutrality between good and evil....I think Harry Potter fans of today will be real magicians of tomorrow."
From Duquette of the O.T.O.
All Harry Potter has done is encouraged many young people to read.
I can't disagree that there are elements there that may cause curiousity by some to wonder what this or that means or is, but honestly, it's not as if these books are the ONLY source to find info on the occult, magic, sorcery etc...um, the library is full of much darker books than these and not a person has ever said "Ban the evil public library, it is a den of smut and sorcery!!"...context has to be in order...
This is addressed to the general public, not you Zetman, but it's my novel idea that's earthshattering:
If one doesn't want his/her kids seeing it/reading it, don't let them! One can control what the child sees/does for a certain time and then after that one has to have faith that the lessons the parents have tried to instill into their child have taken root...The Holy Spirit blows like the wind...trust in Him and know that despite all the temptation that exists in the world today, He will always bring His children home to Him.
Well, begging to differ with the weirdo at speronut, but I think that he's clueless about HP fans. Not sure what Mr. Speronut thinks is neutral about the good and evil characters/actions portrayed in Rowling's books...
I am thinking that neither Speronet guy, nor Fr. Amorth have read the books.