What does the Catholic Church teach about Harry Potter books or themes being used in a Church?
It doesn’t teach anything about Harry Potter.
Harry Potter is fiction. It’s a story for children and adults who are into it to enjoy. Nothing more. That being said I do not read the books.
What do you mean about using Harry Potter themes in church?
We had a priest at my parish who was always weaving books, movies, music into his homilies. He was actually pretty brilliant about using them as tools to teach, to encourage, to reprimand…
If this is what you mean, there’s nothing wrong with that, so long as the teaching and message are in alignment with Catholicism.
Well, that’s just my two cents…
Harry Potter glorifies occult practices. It has no place in a church. The good themes of friendship, selflessness, etc., do not offset the underlying evil - namely “witchcraft and wizardry” - upon which the entire plot revolves. Other more wholesome and Catholic tales like the Lord of the Rings should be utilized. Harry Potter is simply not profitable for the salvation of souls, and quite frankly can lead children into trivializing the occult and open them up to demonic forces.
And why ‘Harry Potter’ in particular?
With all due respect, Lord of the Rings also has wizards.
It’s a matter or keeping things in perspective. I’m Catholic. I also love the Harry Potter series and have read the books and watched the movies several times. It’s wonderful fantasy- and that’s all it is, fantasy. If children are taught correctly, the can enjoy stories like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings without damage to their souls.
The Lord of the Rings is permeated by a profoundly Catholic ethos. Harry Potter is not.
It’s a matter or keeping things in perspective. I’m Catholic. I also love the Harry Potter series and have read the books and watched the movies several times. It’s wonderful fantasy- and that’s all it is, fantasy.
Regardless, it has no place in a church because it is not profitable for the salvation of souls. It is questionable at best.
If children are taught correctly, the can enjoy stories like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings without damage to their souls.
Why expose them to something potentially dangerous when there is so much other wholesome literature out there? I would not put LOTR in the same category as Harry Potter. LOTR is a Catholic allegory written by one of the greatest Catholic authors of the 20th century. Harry Potter is just fluffed up overrated modern American fiction.
Sorry, this isn’t quite accurate. Occult practices are those which seek to gain control over spirits, or which seek knowledge and power from them. While this is the form witchcraft takes in the real world, in the Harry Potter series it’s simply presented as an innate ability. They do not make pacts with demons, don’t conjure up entities, and even the practice of divining the future is presented as a bit of a joke, even in the wizarding world. there are people with legitimate gifts of foresight, but they do not control that ability (i.e. Trelawrny, who doesn’t actually remember it when she makes a legitimate prophecy.)
ultimately, Harry Potter is an expression of the age-old Good vs Evil story, which holds a significant number of positive morals and ideals. Sure, not everything in it is perfect, but that’s no reason to discount it completely. The main characters all embody genuinely positive traits, the relationships between them are all strong and well-oriented. There’s no real perversity or overt sexuality in the stories (the fifth book is the worst about this, and even then it’s not terrible).
I think you’re overreacting. Sure, some people may take the wrong message from the books, but that’s true of any book, including the Bible. You cannot blame the author for people misusing her work.
Also, Lord of the Rings is filled with magic and wizards, so I don’t see how you think it’s better given your criteria.
I don’t see why Harry Potter is dangerous. It is fantasy, and as long as that is understood, nothing harmful can come from it. The Lord of the Rings is also fantasy, and it has magic in it, just as Harry Potter does.
Or we can stop arguing over this – again, and again, and again – and accept the fact that nothing anything you or anyone else here says is going to change anyone else’s mind.
Seriously, think about this for a moment…
Is there ANYTHING the person with the opposing view could say that would change your own well-reasoned and insightful perspective on Harry Potter?
I’m sorry to sound skeptical here, but the OP has had membership for 8 years and this is only her second post. Sounds a bit troll-like if you ask me. And some are taking the bait.
She throws out a “Harry Potter and the Catholic Church” thread and then sits back and laughs as the Catholics all start fighting with each other. :slapfight:
Don’t take the bait.
Let her rejoin the conversation and then discuss with her. Otherwise, let the thread die.
This topic has been argued to death here on CAF over the years, and I’d be willing to bet not one person’s opinion has been changed – neither among those who post or those who are just reading. You’re not “doing a service” by spreading “the truth” as you see it here.
Just my two cents.
And now I need to get back to the housework of the day – creating a tile countertop! :eek:
God bless each and every one of you abundantly!
The fervor of Harry Potter Apologists is commendable, but to argue that exposing your child to the “friendly” world of “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry”’ doesn’t serve trivialize the occult is naïve.
What do you mean by “in a church?”
Why expose them to something potentially dangerous when there is so much other wholesome literature out there?
By that logic, why allow them to see, well, anything, ever? There’s plenty of good Catholic literature, sure; but there’s also plenty of good non-Catholic literature. Just because something isn’t expressly Catholic doesn’t mean that it is devoid of all merit. If we acted according to your apparent position, the Church wouldn’t’ have bothered saving any of the pre-Christian stories during the medieval period, and so much of history would be lost to us…
Harry Potter is just fluffed up overrated modern American fiction.
I’m sorry, but if you actually believe this you really need to reread the books. They are genuine masterpieces of literature. Rowling put so much effort into every last facet of the books, it’s ridiculous. Did you know that the story is a… sorry, I can’t remember what it’s called, but the story is basically a mirror. The events of the beginning are mirror in the end in a very deliberate way which exceeds simple foreshadowing.
You may not like them, but they are not just simple fiction.
Also, they’re English, not American.
The core of ‘Harry Potter’ is that this life is only the stepping stone to the next. That what we do in this life is only important in the context of how it prepares us for the next.
‘Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.’
It is quite Catholic in its outlook and ethos. It uses fantasy in order to portray the antagonist’s overpowering love for this life and fear of death as actually involving damage to his soul. Because he literally, due to his over-valueing of life in this world, commits acts of evil to attach his soul to things in this world. (BTW- it can be read that each item he attaches his soul to is symbolic of things people become overly attached to, earthly wisdom, fine living, nature, obsession with one’s enemies, the future days in this world, one’s immediate family/ancestors/legacy etc.)
It contrasts the antagonists attachment to life with the protagonist’s willingness to love everyone and lay down his life for his friends.
Ultimately we see that regardless of whether the protagonist or antagonist are successful in this world it is the ultimate fate in the next that is more important and lasting.
It doesn’t trivialize it. It makes the dangers of the misuse of magic readily apparent. That’s half the focus of the story. In these books, magic is just a backdrop, not the focus. It is a means through which Rowling explores deeper questions about good and evil. This is literally the exact same thing Tolkein did. I’d argue that Tolkien’s examination is actually more obscure than Rowling’s, the Christian themes are far more explicitly laid out in The Harry Potter series. I’d say they’re explored better in Tolkien’s works, but hidden behind more layers of fantasy.
I remember reading the last book and being astonished at how overtly Christian it was. :hmmm:
I don’t think, ultimately, that HP is as good as Tolkien or Lewis’s fiction, but I don’t think it glamorizes the occult any more than a superhero story would (“with great, totally unchosen/oftentimes genetic power comes great responsibility” and all that. :p)
Some people probably need to stay away from it because of their own issues, but that’s the case for anything. I’ve told the story on these forums before that a work of Catholic fiction that was popular with friends of mine became an occasion of sin for me when I read it. It happens. I don’t blame the text or the author. :shrug:
This is an excellent summary!
Now THAT is insightful.
Yes. I reread the series recently, and you can clearly see the Christian imagery in the last book, particularly at the end.