Church Exorcist and Pro Life Priest Warns Against Harry Potter

Ok, time for all you Harry Potter fans to come at me with your worst, because I know you will. But I saw this article, written about a very holy priest on the front line in our spiritual battle against Satan, and I have to put it out here, even though I know it will meet with ridicule and even hate coming from Harry Potter fans. But here goes.

Exorcism and the Church Militant is intended, in part, as a warning to parents who allow their children to be desensitized to “the dark world” by books and films like the Harry Potter series and the vampire books of Stephanie Meyer. Father Euteneuer told me possession is almost always a result of someone getting involved in some sort of occult practices, such as witchcraft, Wicca, tarot cards, and Ouiji boards.

“Harry Potter and these Twilight vampires glamorize the power of evil,” Father Eutenener explained, “and this has lead to many, many cases of possession among young people.” It may begin with a child or teenager simply “playing around” with the occult, but that seemingly harmless act is “opening a window” to possession.

Father Euteneuer emphasized this point, “Demons do not discriminate between intentions – no matter how innocent – and children lose the clear distinction between good and evil.”

catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=37447

There, I’ve done my part. Hopefully this will be of help to someone who is not so sure about Harry Potter. For all you die-hard fans, I know it’s hopeless. It’s scary how much of a hold these stories have over some people so that they won’t even consider that there might be something wrong with them. If only people would hold to the dogma of the Church as rigidly.

People who think that the Harry Potter books are bad, shouldn’t read them. Simple as that. Those who disagree are perfectly free to read them.

There are a lot of people who don’t run off messing with the occult just because they read a book that includes magic. Just as millions of people watch “Criminal Minds” without deciding to be a serial killer.

Agreed. I understand Fr. Eutenener’s point that for children, that sort of exposure without the understanding of it as fiction, and the ability to separate that from actual practice of magic and other ‘dark arts’, could lead them to be involved with other things. However, as a reader of all 7 books, I feel that there are a lot of good lessons that can be learned from them.

Furthermore, these aren’t books that one would read to a young child before bed, and the later books become more violent and ‘scary’ for younger children. A parent shouldn’t prevent their child from reading, but starting around the 3rd or 4th book, the age of the reader should begin to increase as well. This is unlike a series where the writer simply writes in the same style for the entire series. As it takes several years for each book to be written, the depth/intensity of Rowlings’ content also matures.

Lastly, one need only reference the Chronicles of Narnia to see similar types of magic, dueling, etc. I have even heard some argue that the Harry Potter series ‘borrowed’ or ‘followed’ (depending on your view) several themes and similar plot lines as Lewis’ Chronicles. But you don’t hear people up in arms because the Chronicles are filled with strong Christian allegory. The occult is dangerous, there is no denying that, but I think we should take a step back and realize that there are things for more dangerous to the souls of the world’s children and young adults than Harry Potter.

Well, I’m not a Harry Potter fan, have never read the book or seen the movies-but I think this priest is delusional at best, acting like the Taliban at worst.

I know certain people love to control what others think/read/etc. Scaring them by thinking that Narnia, Harry Potter and the like can lead to immoral activity might be fun to do, but think of better things to do with your time.

It seems to me that the paranoia and unhealthy obsession with the supernatural comes from this side, not the pro-Harry Potter side.

I didn’t like the whole “Harry Potter” /witchcraft thing in the beginning, but enjoyed the 1st movie anyway.The rest of the sequels were not as well made & were much darker.
I think dabbling in the occult can begin innocently.I don’t know about “Harry Potter” being “dangerous” per say, but it’s a step in the wrong direction in a society no longer grounded in Faith.If children are catechized properly fantasy plays a normal part in development of imagination.C.S. Lewis was partly brought to his Christian Faith by reading the fantasy books of George MacDonald.

So, I’d want to reject paranoia, but after reading more about Harry Potter’s author & her statement that one of the main characters was a homosexual,& seeing the increasingly dark nature of the films, I’m back to being wary.

Actually what prompted me to pick up the Harry Potter books was to see if there was any creditability to the claims that the books are dangerous. I read the first book with a very critical eye. I had every intention of putting the book down if it appeared to be truly dangerous and it simply was not. The book was simply innocent fantasy written by an author with a sense of humor I could appreciate.

I then heard that the other books are far worse, so I kept picking them up. What I can say is that I do think that as Harry Potter gets older, the books move from intermiedate reading to young adult reading. As such, some of the books I do think are more suitable for teenagers rather than 9 and 10 year olds. But that said, the more books I read, the more I began to realize that however much of a “progressive” Christian Rowling is, the books have great Christian themes and have no relationship with the occult at all. The criticism of Rowlings books are along the lines of the criticisms CS Lewis and Tolken got from some Christians who felt that the Narnia books and the Lord of the Rings were dangerous.

I’ve become a fan of the series because they’re enjoyable books, have well developed characters, good themes and that they succeed in having all these elements while preserving a lot of innocense that most books on the market lack. Definitely there are books that parents need to cautious their children away from reading, but it takes more than listening to frantic ignorant people attacking just the top best selling books to do it. It takes making sure you know what you’re kids are reading and what really is out there.

Exactly. Parents need to be careful what their children read, but they also need to realize there is no one-size-fits-all rule. My daughter was already grown when these came out, but if they’d come out when she was 10 or 12, she had enough sense to read them. Other children shouldn’t read them until they’re older, and some people probably shouldn’t read them at all.

I find a lot more danger in kids watching the sitcoms and dramas on TV that show casual sex and rampant materialism. That is behavior that we KNOW they emulate.

Can’t find any statement that he’s actually read any HP book or seen any HP movie.

I did the same thing twoangels back in January, 2002. I saw the first movie to see what the fuss was about in November 2001 and I came away entertained. I didn’t see what the problem was. Then, about a week after Christmas I got into a conversation with a lady at my parish who was appalled that a relative of hers gave as a Christmas gift, a Sully stuff toy (from Monsters, inc) to their child. She said it was a demon which is ridiculous for anyone who has watched Monsters, Inc. Then she went on about how Harry Potter was evil and I decided to give Rowling the benefit of doubt and started to read the books. I devoured all them that had come out (Goblet of Fire was the latest at the time) and became a fan. I eagerly anticipated Order of the Phoenix, the Half Blood Prince, and the Deathly Hallows. They are one of the few series that do have good moral lessons. Honor, love, and sacrifice are major themes in the novels as well as free choice (it is the choices that we make that say who we are and not what we are born into). What I like is that the characters have flaws, from the kids to the adults. Since this is the case, they feel more human.

I have a few quibbles of course. I wished she developed the characters who were Slytherins. I think they got the short shaft sometimes and I was wondering if she was going to do anything else to Draco besides having him be the bully. Thankfully she did more with him in the Half-Blood Prince and the Deathly Hallows. I agree that the books are NOT for small children since Harry grows up, the content grows more mature and more dark. Does Harry mess things up? Of course and he is punished for it in various ways.

As for as occult elements in it, there aren’t much at all. The charms, spells, curses, etc are not real in any way at all. They are latin words used as commands. None of it invokes spirits, etc. The dark arts are shown as clearly dark, evil, and to be avoided. Good triumphs over evil and the end is bittersweet. It comes at a price.

You are very brave to even approach this subject. I commend you.

I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, although I saw one of the first movies. But my two nieces have read all the books and seen all the movies, and loved every bit of them.

When I was a kid my Mom got a library book that my sister and I read. I believe it was called The Egypt Game and we really got into that book!! We made a tent from blankets and filled it with “Egyptian” things and we pretended we were Egyptians from a long time ago, and this included “pretend” worship of anything that Egyptians worshiped in reality.

Sounds horrible, huh? But you know what? Even though we were kids, we knew we were just playing. We knew the difference between play and the Mass where we received the Holy Eucharist. We were children and we played and we had a lot of fun doing so. We also learned a lot about Egypt, though it was dumbed-down to our level. We also learned that not everyone in the world believes as Catholics do. That is an important lesson.

So - did my nieces’ reading and watching Harry Potter books and movies, respectively, turn them into witch-loving, demon possessed monsters? No, not at all. Both are now young adults. Both love the Church and *want * to go to Mass on Sunday. One serves as an altar girl. One teaches Confirmation classes. Both of these girls are extremely intelligent young women whose faith in God and Catholicism puts mine to shame. One is in college (she was valedictorian of her high school class - sorry, but I have to take this opportunity to show how proud I am of her ;)) and one will enter college in the fall.

There is nothing wrong with fantasy. I grew up on Bugs Bunny cartoons. They really are violent if you look for it. But I knew they were just fiction.

If children can’t tell the difference between reality and fiction I would keep the Harry Potter books and DVDs away from them. I wouldn’t even let them read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. And I truly believe that Ouija boards should be kept as far away as possible (and I mean far away from everyone) because even “playing” with such a thing can be a step into the dark side.

I know that demons exist. I know that Satan would love to get his grimy claws on our souls and that he is very tricky. I also know that some children are able to think outside the box and should be provided with opportunities to do so. It depends on the child’s ability to be able to discern between reality and fantasy, some of which can be very dangerous.

And that is my humble opinion. :twocents:

And what about TV programs/movies that show the use of guns? There must be about a million of those! And every once in a while we find out that another child has gotten ahold of his parent’s gun and has shot and killed a friend.

And doesn’t understand why his/her friend doesn’t just get up. After all, that’s what happens so much on TV.

Brooklyn, I get the impression that you just wanted a drive-by style thread, so I don’t expect you to really respond to this. However, the burden of proof here is on Fr. Euteneuer (or you, since you support his claim) that these novels/movies “glamorize the power of evil.” That should be fairly simple to demonstrate if true, right? So present your proof.

That quote from J.K. Rowlings was made after the final book was released and done simply to draw attention back to her since the series ended, and in preparation of the movies that were yet to be made/released. The truth is that the Headmaster is a grandfather-type figure, and neither the books nor the movies direct his sexuality one way or another. Sexuality was never a part of his character. Perhaps her inspiration for that character was based off a homosexual, but this is not reflected at all in the books, and therefore, should not be held against them.

I did a thread on this a long time ago, over a year ago, and gave proof after proof of what I said, and it did absolutely no good. It did teach me, though, that Harry Potter fans will defend their ground no matter what. I saw this article today, actually linked from The Drudge Report, and since I have such high respect for Father Euteneuer, I posted it here.

If you’re really interested in my thoughts about Harry Potter, and how I got slammed for them, here is the thread:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=355135&highlight=harry+potter

In that the good Father, is a practicing exorcist, who is speaking from experience, you might reread what he is relating…“Demons do not discriminate between intentions – no matter how innocent – and children lose the clear distinction between good and evil.

*"Father Euteneuer told me possession is almost always a result of someone getting involved in some sort of occult practices, such as witchcraft, Wicca, tarot cards, and Ouiji boards.

“Harry Potter and these Twilight vampires glamorize the power of evil,” Father Eutenener explained, “and this has lead to many, many cases of possession among young people.” It may begin with a child or teenager simply “playing around” with the occult, but that seemingly harmless act is “opening a window” to possession.

Father Euteneuer emphasized this point, “Demons do not discriminate between intentions – no matter how innocent – and children lose the clear distinction between good and evil.” *

I would like to add that there is nothing wrong with a person being a homosexual as far as the Church is concerned. The causes of homosexuality are probably multi-faceted and I don’t think most people choose to be attracted to others of their own gender.

It’s not a sin to be a homosexual. The sin is in homosexual behavior such as engaging in sex with a person of one’s own gender.

Homosexuals are given a heavy cross to bear. There are good homosexual Catholics who do not engage in homosexual behavior and have accepted their cross with dignity. Unfortunately many are ridiculed just for being who they are. That’s not right.

I understand that having a homosexual character in a book may raise a red flag and perhaps rightly so. But I wanted to add this clarification.

Firstly, priests were routinely made “exorcists” before about 1973, so being one is not a particular distinction – not doubting that this particular priest may be a holy man.

Secondly, if ever there were an ongoing saga about the battle of good versus evil, the Harry Potter series would be the pinnacle. “Evil” is personified by one principal and many secondary characters and is absolute – “good” is personified by everyone else, and good triumphs when HP offers his life to defeat evil.

Sure there is some violence in an ascending order of age-appropriate stories but, in my opinion, it doesn’t approach the violence we see in every action movie, TV show, video game and gaming in general.

By all means, let’s throw some more fear and prohibition in the face of amazing imagination, excellent characterization, complex and sophisticated plotting and astounding readability. Let’s don’t even mention that this series has done more for children clamoring to read than anything in recent history.

J.K. Rowling created a complete new world with excitement, humor, clearly stated morals and ethics. Personally, I’d like to live in her world where owls deliver mail, broomsticks really fly, and the specter of evil is so completely obvious, able to be battled and where good triumphs in the end.

Thank you for that, LS. My point focused on discrediting CrackerMom’s statement because I did not want that to fuel the fire that these books are evil. Clearly, the Church is not against homosexuals, only homosexual activity.

I think the issue is that people are taking Harry Potter at face-value, and based on my experiences, these are people who have never read the books.

For an act to be considered good, it must have good intentions, use appropriate/moral means, and the result must be beneficial. Let’s apply this to Harry Potter.

Intent: J.K. Rowling wanted to write a series of entertaining, young adult novels that portray a battle of good versus evil, truthfulness versus lies, and the triumph of virtues. She wasn’t out to win a Pulitzer, change the world, or make a moral point. Her main focus was making good stories with a good message - not defining beliefs, encouraging witchcraft, or any other ‘bad’ portrayal given this series.

Means: This is probably the cause of the anger/disapproval. Those who mean to oppose the books say “Her means is the use of magic, which is evil whether it is ‘good’ or ‘dark’.” And surely, they are correct in that the use of magic is evil, whether good or dark. But that isn’t her true means. That is the superficial medium in which the means are portrayed, just as Animal Farm isn’t about animals. The goodness, the honesty, and the virtues are not in the magic, they are in the characters fighting against the dark forces. And since we are portraying evil as a supernatural being, why not create supernatural fighters for good. Should we then think superheroes are bad because they use unnatural powers/magic? Or should we see the examples they set to teach us lessons.

Results: SPOILER ALERT (kinda) - sacrifies are made for good to triumph over evil. There are punishments when those who are good stray from the path. Those supporting evil are either truly corrupt (i.e. B.L.) or terrified of the evil that has taken hold of them (D.M.), and some can still turn back to good (P.P.). In the end, good triumphs over evil, courage and honor overtake lies and greed, and evil can be vanquished by those who do not abandon their values and morals, even in the darkest of times. Who wouldn’t want their child (of an appropriate age) being instilled with those ideals, mixed with chivalry, valor, and humility?

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