The Pope and Potter

The Pope and Potter

You should expect to see in the next few days, major newspapers and cable news to start trumpeting in inch-high headlines that Pope Benedict opposes Harry Potter. Just as the new Potter novel hits the stores, we see letters from 2003 in which Cardinal Ratzinger voiced his approval of a book criticizing the novels as being a danger to the young.

“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.

In 2001, at Catholic World Report, we ran an article by Catholic author Michael O’Brien that was critical of the Harry Potter novels and the paganization of children’s culture.

Whatever your opinion of the Potter books (and the disapprobation of a pope before he was elected does not bind Catholic consciences), it is clear that the mainstream media will see this as a fun newsworthy story to fill the summer news doldrums with a ginned-up controversy.