July 16, 2005
A LifeSiteNews article from last week, headlined “Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels”, made it appear that Benedict XVI has read the Potter books and found them dangerous. Given the release a few days later of the sixth novel in J. K. Rowling’s famous series, the timing of the story can only be considered brilliant by those who oppose the Harry Potter phenomenon. This news is already swirling around the Internet.
When contacted by LifeSiteNews, Potter opponent and Catholic novelist Michael O’Brien was quick to state that this judgment “reveals the Holy Father’s depth and wide ranging gifts of spiritual discernment” and that “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.” O’Brien concluded that Benedict XVI “is the father of the universal church and we would do well to listen to him.”
Now I’ve made no secret of the fact that I regard the Harry Potter series as a set of rollicking good adventure stories, filled with both humor and moral sense, and in general dangerous to nobody. Of course, there is no telling how a particular individual will respond to any book, and I certainly don’t propose that parents who judge these books potentially dangerous to their children should follow my judgment instead of their own. Indeed, men and women of good will can disagree about Harry Potter.