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Well, whether one agrees or disagrees, this is a pastoral decision.
It’s not like the kids can’t read the books from the public library.
I may not agree with the rationale the pastor gave but let’s think of this:
IF the pastor is sincerely convinced that what he is saying is correct, AS the pastor his conscience would require him to act on that conviction.
A lot of people here are conscience-happy. " if my conscience is telling me that something ‘the Catholic church’ says is wrong is NOT wrong, then I would be sinning in going against my conscience.’ You hear that over and over. And most people would say, "Yes, primacy of conscience’. You’ll note that is usually when people are saying something like, “The Church says that contraception is wrong, but I believe in MY situation it’s right, and I’m not going to agree with the Church.” (others, clapping and cheering, “Think for yourself”).
But here’s a question where primacy of conscience is going the ‘other way’, where a priest is holding a position that is presented as actually following, in a narrow way, Catholic teaching. It’s more, "I think we need to be even stricter in keeping our children safe from possible evil influences’ instead of, “I think we need to let our children make their own decisions even if they make sinful ones”. . .and SUDDENLY, ‘primacy of conscience’ is something to deride.
Again, I don’t agree with the priest’s interpretation of the ‘spells’, and I’ve read all the books, liked the first couple, not the later ones, positively disliked the last, but you know what?
We want our priests to lead, let them lead.
The people who are crying, "This makes the Church look so stupid and rigid’ are the same ones yelling when the Church doesn’t move fast enough to be ‘more relevant’.
Darned if we do. . .
We want priests to lead wisely. This isn’t that. Is he going to pull the “Lord of the Rings” and “Chronicles of Narnia” next?
The books are well over 10 years old. Kids who want to read them can find them at a public library or used book store. I certainly didn’t rely on my school library to provide all my reading matter and thinking back on it there were MANY tween or YA books with edgy subject matter (drugs, witchcraft, sex, pregnancy etc) that I got from the public library and do not recall ever seeing at my Catholic school library.
My impression was that the school library’s main function was to provide younger kids with some reading matter to build reading skills, and provide older kids with the necessary materials to complete school assignments, mostly in the area of research and nonfiction subjects. The purpose was NOT to carry every popular book kids might wish to read.
No, Its not ‘sigh’ , its good. The people I have spoken to recently who have a very confused idea of living for Christ are confused by popular literature like this.
For example, Mass going Cathlics who also have a wand and little spells. new age paraphenalia. Viewing a priest as like a wizard and all sorts of confused issues.
Catholic Schools are wonderful to take a stand and say this is not what we do, this is not us. Start catechizing and redirecting student learning as far as popular media goes.
There are many books that do not belong in schools. I am glad a Catholic school took a stance.
No, not a ‘what if’ here.
You see, you are insisting that the priest lead and follow his conscience, but if you don’t like what he says and don’t think he’s right, you’re complaining.
See the problem?
If the priest only leads when you or ‘the majority of the people’ think his decisions are right, who is actually ‘leading?’
Again, I don’t think that he was considering the question in complete fullness, but according to what he did consider, he made the appropriate decision.
As C S Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity, the Church ‘no longer burns witches’, but it’s not because we don’t think that witches deserve burning, it’s that we think there are no actual witches of the medieval type. If the Church thought that witches existed, the kind of witches who were responsible not simply for evil deeds on earth, but who could steal or destroy a person’s soul, then they might still be ‘burning’ them, if that was the only way to keep them from such spiritual destruction.
So if the priest thinks that evil spells etc really do exist and that contact with supernatural evil is a danger to children, then he is indeed going to argue that even a ‘fiction’ book could be a danger to children by getting them to think of spells etc as being ‘positive’.
Again, by what HE understands and according to his conscience, he is doing the right thing.
Now, if his bishop gives him more information, then his conscience will be clear if that information leads him to the conclusion that these books are not a problem.
Until then, again. .
And I am shocked, yes shocked, that so many voices who keep telling us to listen to the priests, talk to the priest, etc. are so quick to turn when the priest tells them something they don’t like or don’t want to believe by wanting them to be STRICTER in following the Faith or to take a more spiritual approach. . .
Bizarre stuff. Trully bizarre, I am truly glad such nonsense never occurred at the Catholic school I attended.
I don’t care if the books appear in the school library or not. My problem is with the priest at a Catholic school who thinks the “spells” in the HP books are real.
Having books younger kids might actually want to read is how you get them to build reading skills.
Is Harry Potter really the hill to die on?
HP is not even a mildly raised floor tile to get annoyed on I’d say.
What hill. They took a pastoral decision. Good for them.
I cannot for the life of me understand the fuss this books seems to cause in this regard. Much of it seems to be born again Christian outlooks bleeding over into Catholicism. The kind of stuff that insisted Dungeons and Dragons was demonic or whatnot back in the day. Those sort of outlooks, thankfully, always had limited traction in the UK and Ireland. Something I am very glad about in retrospect.
I think there’s a spell you can use to fix that tile…but that could have been in Fantasia.
Don’t worry Disney will work out a crossover if we all hang about long enough. Sooner or later at present rate they’ll buy up everything and blandify it.
Likewise, I don’t understand the fuss made on CA when a priests none of us know makes a decision for his parish that doesn’t violate Church teaching. It is his prerogative. So “meh.”
Indeed it and no-one is going to suffer ultimately from not reading HP. I just find it all very odd.
What is bothersome is the stated reason they are being removed:-
“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception. The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” the email states.
This is complete nonsense, these claims have been made before and are never supported. One particular priest makes the more nasty and personal claim of Rowling having attended ‘witch school’ and similar claims.
That’s exactly my problem with this. Yes, he has the right to remove the books from the school. But he doesn’t have to add this stuff about “actual curses and spells.” Just say you don’t want them in the school and be done with it.