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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:44 PM
Original message
Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05071301.html

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 bse (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.

more...
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tocqueville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. but, but.... I thought Harry Potter was fighting Evil...
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NewWaveChick1981 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. That's what I thought too...
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. But, you can only fight evil
in the properly sanctioned way. By burning witches.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. I hope they don't burn
Hermione Granger. She's a cutie-pie!
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. not in the books
which is one thing I disliked about the movies. I love Hermoine from the books, but not because of the way she looks. I could be wrong, but I do not believe the books ever described her as being as cute as the actress who plays her in the movies.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #19
22. Yeah, I was just having fun...
at the expense of those who would burn withes
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lakemonster11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #19
43. She's apparently very pretty when she tries to be.
Remember the Yule Ball? She just normally doesn't bother with hair and makeup and all the stuff that make teenage boys think girls are pretty.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. Did you see the SNL when Linsey Lohan played
Hermione....

She had "grown" over the summer and everyone. except Harry, was hitting on her....
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
38. No, didn't see it.
but I bet it was good.
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #38
49. It was absolutely the funiest thing they have
dopne in a long time....

They kept saying, my how you've GROWN over the vacation.....

Of course that was back before LL went for the skinny skanky look and still looked voluptuous and wholesome.....
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NewWaveChick1981 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Has Ratzi even read any of the Harry Potter books?
I doubt it.... Just like a lot of the idiot protesters I've seen on the news here. Reminds me of the late 70s when Life of Brian came out... tons of religious zealots protesting against it but not one of them had seen it. :mad:

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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
36. They never do
As a librarian, I follow book challenges and censorship issues fairly closely, and only in a few cases have the challengers actually read the book, other than the "dirty" parts. And never do they consider it in context (e.g., a book about teens in foster care using profanity).
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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. As a lapsed Catholic,
and HP reader, I say to the Pope: shove it.
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bunny planet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
6. Way to be relevant Popula.
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FlemingsGhost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
8. Not enough swastikas, like when he was a boy. (n/t)
Flem.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. Great, one more reason why I can't receive communion
I most certainly am going to hell.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. If you're going to hell for reading Harry Potter..
so are 95% of the Christians I know.
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Debi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. It's gonna be crowded down there!
:evilgrin:
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. Oh Good God Almighty!
Save us from your batshit insane fan club, please!
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WeRQ4U Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
12. Good....
Because just like every other time the church has said something like this.........sales will increase.

Soooo dumb.
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rateyes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:54 PM
Response to Original message
13. My middle daughter's favorite HP character is
Professor Snape. I knew I taught that girl well.
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Endangered Specie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
14. I suppose hed rather have Children read Mein Kampf?
:argh:
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
39. LOL. good point.
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sakabatou Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
15. I bet he never reads the books
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 03:58 PM
Response to Original message
16. I would like to read Kuby's book
I read four of the Potter books and really loved the third one, but after the fourth one, I got tired of them, because of the seeming primacy and invincibility of Voldemort. In one sense, there is a caricature aspect to them since Potter and his friends seem to be pure good and Voldemort and Malfoy are apparently pure evil, neither of them are human - both good and evil.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #16
27. Harry and his friends pure good? Not in the books I've read.
Edited on Wed Jul-13-05 04:32 PM by sybylla
Harry and his friends have broken rules, lied/deceived, physically hurt others in anger and more. Pure good implies infallibility and they certainly are very capable of making mistakes and intentionally crossing lines.

And Malfoy, he's just a bully. And like a typical bully, he runs when he's scared, he cries and makes scenes when he thinks he's been hurt. Doesn't sound like pure evil to me.

As for Voldemort, I think the whole point is for him to be purely evil. Those kinds of people do exist in the world. Dehumanizing is the point. Hanibal Lecter is very unhuman, but that doesn't make Silence of the Lambs any less of a story.

Of course you have a right to your opinions. I'm just taking the opportunity to espouse mine. :hi: The Harry Potter stories aren't perfect, but I'm quite eager for the sixth book, myself.

on edit: keep in mind this is kids literature. The more B&W the characters are, the easier it is for youngsters to follow.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. sorta like Dirty Harry
they break rules, but it is okay because they stop the bad guy. They have to take care of things because the adults cannot or will not, although Dumbledore often looks the other way and subtly assists. I did not like Silence of the Lambs at all either, it makes Hannibal too much of a superman.

That is perhaps the critique that this is kids literature, and the more B & W the characters are, the more it encourages kids to think in terms of black and white. When I was a kid, I was reading Spiderman, who is more of a complex, self-examining character. The annoying thing is that my nieces tear through the Harry Potter tomes, but they will not read the Bruce Coville or Jackie French Koller books that I give them, although the younger one was reading Fahrenheit 451!
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #34
44. I agree with you
that too black and white is a problem. The first book was really aimed at what, 7-10-year-olds? I have hopes that as the characters progress in age, the target audience progresses as well and the characters shift to reflect a more complex world. I saw clues in the earliest books that hinted at just that, but that hasn't exactly materialized at least through book 5. Perhaps the Half-Blood Prince will be the first to move on to a more mature and complex story.

And I understand your disappointment with your nieces' choices in reading material. My 16 and 18-year-old boys are voracious readers and their tastes range from pulp fantasy and Harry Potter to Richard Dawkins and Carl Sagan. I expect your nieces' tastes tastes for reading material will mature and grow complex, too.

Take heart, hfojvt. I had an English professor tell me once that it is comparison and contrast that helps us appreciate the qualities in anything. Nothing sets off the white sparkle of diamonds like black velvet. Perhaps Harry Potter will be the black velvet for your niece's maturing taste toward diamond-quality literature.

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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #44
48. it depends on the kid
but I would think they were more like ages 9-15. I was reading Thornton Burgess when I was 8, and they are much thinner than Potter. My nieces seem to be far ahead of me. I would not claim that Coville or Koller are great literature, but I like the values they promote.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #27
41. I particularly like how Harry's now questioning his own views ...
Edited on Wed Jul-13-05 06:57 PM by Lisa
He started the books believing that his parents could do no wrong, but while he still loves them, he's been forced to confront the fact that his own father was a bit of a bully. And the much-detested Professor Snape was, in a way, proved right (his criticism of Harry's dad stemmed from that) -- plus he's saved Harry's life on numerous occasions. Just like making an informed decision to stick with a particular church despite knowing about past lapses (the Crusades, residential schools, protection of pedophiles, etc.) would also require maturity and perspective. I had hoped that senior clergy would want to encourage informed thought, but I guess the new Pope isn't big on "teachable moments".

It seems as if the stories have been getting more complex and ambiguous in certain ways. As you point out, Sybylla, there are plenty of examples, especially in the past couple of books, where Harry's been shown to be less than heroic. And it seems that there's been more exploration of why people who aren't particularly evil have ended up siding with Voldemort, or inadvertently helping him. I don't find Voldemort to be as interesting as other literary villains, but the other characters' reactions to him are rather instructive. I wasn't particularly keen on Book 1, but as the series has unfolded, Rowling's pattern of questioning authority (the justice system, the media, academia) is, at the very least, encouraging kids to think about these issues.
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sybylla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #41
47. The thought-provoking aspect is what I like most
I do have a problem with the lying and cheating that sometimes goes unpunished or lacks real-world consequences. And though I know it's a favorite theme in kids books to make the adults incompetent, I really do despise that. It seemed more obvious in the early books and less so in 4 & 5. These are all things my hubby and I have talked at great length about with our boys.

But I think the fact that the characters challenge the common thinking from Muggles and Mudbloods to Voldemorte to elves and slavery to the press and freedom of speech and they take steps to research and become informed on particular aspects of their past and present is a fabulous moral to teach kids - one that isn't taught much elsewhere. I think the lessons of independent thought are primary and that is why I appreciate the Harry Potter books.

And, like you, I think independent thought is exactly what fundies and the Pope don't like about Harry Potter.
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Double T Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:01 PM
Response to Original message
18. When will the Harry Potter Book burnings begin in the town squares.....
across America???? Has the entire world gone mad?!?!?!
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
37. It already has
Edited on Wed Jul-13-05 05:42 PM by MountainLaurel
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lastknowngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
20. Fu*k the pope he's a nazi and fascist and runs a pedophile sanctuary
n/t
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PittPoliSci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
23. sigh...
i know harry potter has made me evil...
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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
28. I'm not saying anything
.... bwa ha ha ha
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
24. Gee I wonder if he also opposes
PRIEST PEDOPHILES??? I would think they also corrupt the hearts of the young.
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MN ChimpH8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
25. Bender said it best:
"BITE MY SHINY METAL ASS!!"

:rofl: :grr: :rofl:
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PATRICK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
26. The trend
and i don't mean kid's books is getting embarassing already. Sounds like a Church run by the dogma review board. Doesn't occur to him that playing the heavy as doctrinal critic on one measly book series leaves out Spiderman, the Left Behind series, His Dark Mateirals by Pullman, Songe Bob, Pokemon, Mario, Bugs Bunny etc. In fact Rowlings has a better positive moral thrust than most and is only the tip of the children's literature fantasy iceberg.

No, what it sounds like instead is the old RW cherrypicking, scapegoating, villain and cause celebre to demonize, scourge and destroy particular targets to get at everyone else. And they always pick fundamentally good people, don't they? Always people leaning to criticize the RW message points and sour personality dominant trait.

It's a downer. Anmd silly. And out of it. Moral teaching is not first about punishment and condemnation. Not in such trivial cases that demean and really reveal deficiencies in the authority itself.

A blunder.

And darkly revealing of the truncated dogmatism and mindset of one who "reaches out to youth" by a stranger book than any Harry Potter novel.

I suppose as a Catholic I would be remiss not to offer constructive criticism. Faith and doctrine is one thing. Children's literature can be quite another. And it's a bigger field than poor Ms. Rowlings.

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tigereye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
29. more bullshit from the unenlightened and dogmatic
I think the books raise some excellent ethical questions and they don't seem to have debased anyone's morals from what I have seen....
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
30. Spreading HIV and protecting child molestors is one thing.
But criticizing Harry Potter? OK, that goes too far!
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LeftyDarthBrodie Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
31. Nice to come home
and get a nice laugh like this. Why doesn't Herr Popenfuhrer Benedict worry about his priests raping boys Harry Potter's age.
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DIKB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
32. I really dislike this guy
I grew up Catholic, for the most part of my life I was too young to know or care what JP was saying about gays and other things. By the time I cared he was seen as a passive old grandfather character. This new pope needs to let go of his Nazi roots. I had thought I'd give him the benefit of the doubt, but like * he has screwed up too much too quick. The only way for him to no longer be pope is to . . . So here's hoping the Lord calls his servant to him asap.
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6000eliot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
33. Thanks, Ratz, for that timely intervention
:eyes:
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zbdent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. Don't these kids realize that the only book they need to read
is the bible?

:sarcasm: :eyes:
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ghostsofgiants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
40. Wow, the pope and I agree on something
Albeit for entirely different reasons.
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CubsFan1982 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
42. Shouldn't this be in GD?
I mean, the anti-Catholic quotient is too high for a Lounge post. :P
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
45. If it ticks off the Pope then Harry Potter must be
doing something right.
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Joey Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-05 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
46. The Pope is a prick in a pointed hat
Fuck the Pope.
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