Statement From Priest On Harry Potter Causes Uproar As Public Discerns
By Michael Brown
An uproar has been caused by the statement of a priest and Vatican official, Father Peter Fleetwood, who during a news conference about the New Age said that as far as he was concerned, "Harry Potter does not represent a problem." The English priest, a former member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said that "in each one's childhood there have been fairy godmothers, magicians, angels and witches, which are not bad things but a help for children to understand the conflict between good and evil."
Although the remarks were not an official Vatican view, their airing in the framework of a press conference organized by the Vatican Press Office led newspapers and networks around the world to report on them as an official Vatican declaration.
It is not known if the Holy See agrees with this stance, nor whether the Vatican will ever release an official statement on the books, which involve witchcraft and wizardry. While supporters of them argue they are harmless fantasy, critics, including the official Rome exorcist, have charged that the books involve the use of witchcraft to fight witchcraft and contain actual spells and ritualistic names of demons. They assert that the demonic images put forth in the movies orient youth toward wicca -- an occult practice condemned in the same Vatican press conference -- and bring a dark power with them. Still others cite statistics that show an upsurge of youths seeking to practice witchcraft or contacting pagan sites. Still others cite statistics that show an upsurge of youths seeking to practice witchcraft or contacting pagan sites.
We have already expressed views on the issue and will adhere to any official Vatican view, if one is released.
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