Harry Potter. Sin or no?


Are Catholics allowed to read Harry Potter/watch the movies?

Is it a sin?


I was raised in a Protestant home and never was allowed to watch the movies or read the books.

But I don’t have an answer to your question, sorry!


Sinful? No. Questionable gateway to the occult? Definitely! The way it’s presented is misleading. Instead of Gandalf who is presented like an Angel in The Lord of the Rings and who is given powers by “God” Harry uses spells and incantations. He derives these powers from…? Nobody knows! That’s the problem. In the real world magic is accomplished through demonic forces. In the world of Harry Potter it’s infered that it’s natural phenomena. But it’s not explicitly stated and may peek a readers interest in the occult.


These are matters of prudential judgment.


Probably not a sin but not a good idea to let your kids watch/read a series of increasingly dark, violent, amoral, occultic garbage that has no way of having a positive effect on them whatsoever.

Now if you’re an adult wanting to watch/read them, the better question is why aren’t you interested in better fiction. :stuck_out_tongue:


I don’t think it’s a sin if it’s taken under a certain mindset. I think it’s safe to read in a similar way that Greek or Egyptian mythology is safe to read—purely as a form of entertainment, and not in a way that encourages or follows what it contains.

Granted, that makes letting children watch/read it difficult. I’d say to make sure your children are aware that the series is purely fictional, and judge how they start to react as they read the books. I read it as a child, and never once fell into the occult; I did fall from the Church years later, but for other reasons.

Personally, I’d recommend Narnia as a superior, Christian-allegorical fantasy series :smile:


Harry Potter isn’t a sin but this is true, as well:


Good books, fiction, don’t intend to pull you away from Christ; take care to know if your children will be scandalized by it, and make the judgement for yourself.


If I ever come across gillyweed or mandrake root screaming I will throw the CD collection out.


Harmless fantasy/fiction children’s books for entertainment. If your child is reading a Harry Potter novel and actually believes in the magical fantasy forces detailed in the story, perpaps they need to stick with a lower, more simple, reading level.

This sounds like a question a fundamentalist would ask.


This sounds like something I’d hear from a Southern Baptist :slight_smile:

If the reader can’t distinguish between fantasy and reality, there’s a problem there. I don’t like them, but I also don’t like George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones collection either. As far as somebody’s curiosity being piqued from reading fantasy?

There is no such thing as “magic” unless I’m missing something. Though, I bet it was a heck of a surprise for the first people who had fireballs thrown at them (clay pots full of Greek fire).


I’ve read every single one of them and at no point to they promote worship of the devil or anything more occult than very superficial magic. The magic in the book is no more satanic than the idea of magic behind, say Santa or Mary Poppins. However, they promote very Christian values, such as treating everyone justly, sacrificing yourself for love, and resisting actual evil at all costs.

The author herself is a professed Christian and has said that her faith inspired the books. The inscription on Harry’s parent’s tombstone is Corinthians 15:26. There’s nothing occult or satanic about Harry Potter.


I love it when non-occultists speak of occultism as if they know even the first thing about it.


Why would this sound like a question a Fundamentalist would ask? (I’m Catholic)


Clearly you haven’t read the books if you think the source of their magical powers aren’t explicitly stated.

It is made clear over and over and over again, in every single book, that people are either born with magical powers or they aren’t. Just like I was born with exceptional musical and mathematical understanding, but some aren’t.

The fact that people are or are not born with these innate powers is a huge plot point – so it’s ridiculous to suggest that it’s not explicitly stated.


It is no different from the Lord of the Rings.

It is good story line about Good vs Evil.

As in both stories, Good Magic users or Good Users of Magical Items combating Evil Magic Users or Evil Users of Magical Items.

As Gandalf is to Professor Dumbledore.
As Frodo is to Harry Potter.



Have you even read the books?!

The books do indeed become increasingly dark. As evil forces gain strength, good people have to make hard choices, and some of them are killed for standing against those who would spread that evil.

Violent? Hardly. I’ve read Lord of the Rings – that was a violent series of books. I didn’t enjoy reading about literal heads rolling.

As far as being amoral, you couldn’t be further off the mark. They are incredibly moral stories. Each of the main good characters has flaws, and yet they consistently learn from mistakes and strive to make the hard choices. That seems like a pretty moral example to me.

Some of the “bad guys” experience remorse for their actions and change sides.


Oh, and the books take place in a co-ed boarding school, and there is never even the slightest hint that a single student is having sex! In fact, some critics are pretty hard on the series because of that.

Seriously, if you think the books are a portal to hell, then you obviously shouldn’t read them.

But mindless attacks that have nothing to do with these actual works of fiction do nothing to bolster your argument.

Vatican's chief exorcist warns that practicing yoga is 'satanic' Gateway to Possession

Not a theologist, but avid reader/amateur writer here. Nothing wrong from the book itself, as long as you see it as fiction and nothing more. Some books which show secular activity (pre marital sex, etc) actually have great conclusions and moral messanges we could take.


Seriously, it’s just entertainment. I never had the desire to learn dark magic from watching a fictional movie. Now when I was much younger I did want to become contaminated with radioactive ooze and learn martial arts, but unfortunately that never happened.


Quite right–the whole series is very squeaky-clean sexually.
There isn’t even any divorce and remarriage…

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.