Harry Potter


Hello everybody! I just have one little question to ask. I was wondering if seeing the Harry Potter movies would be wrong. I know that all the witchcraft and nonsense in the movie is against the Church but I want to see the movie just out of curiousity to what its about. MANY of my very Catholic friends have seen it and said it was an entertaining movie. What do you think?


This has been discussed numerous times on here. Search through the archives for Harry Potter.

The church does not have an official position on this. The USCCB has labeled it A-II (for adults and adolescents). And within the review for the latest movie it says

it remains very clearly a fantasy, in no way a textbook for teaching black magic, and thus is no threat to Catholic teaching.

So as long as you realize that the movie is fiction and seeing it will not inflence your faith then you can.

There are however people online that will say seeing any movie that remotely makes witchcraft seem good is inappropriate, but that is not an official teaching of the church. Otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see the Wizard of Oz, Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, etc.


Fantasy stories are fine, my only problem with HP is that the stories tend to blur the lines between good and evil. The Lord of the Rings also has magical-type powers, and the Wizard of Oz has witches, etc…yet in those stories the good side is very well defined as well as the evil or bad side. No-one would look at an Orc and think it represents good. HP, on the other hand, uses magic supposedly for the good, yet sometimes it is hard to see the clear good/bad lines in those tales.


Actually all the stories have characters that may be good or evil and by the end of the book you find out the character may be different from what you thought.
I can’t remember names but in the LOR at least one of the characters that is supposedly good turns towards evil. Other characters turn from evil to good. If you read ‘Wicked’ or even more-so in the musical the Wicked Witch of the West is portrayed as a good character that people force into a bad role. A person that is purely good or purely evil isn’t reality (except in the case of Jesus or Satan) so forcing all fantasy books to stick to that is pretty baseless.


Baseless to want stories to stick to the faith by creating stories that are clerly good versus evil? Interesting take. :slight_smile:


What I meant is that to force all authors to stick to purely evil and purely good characters in order to have it watched by “true” Catholics/Christians would be uncalled for. Honestly it would be boring reading about characters that can not evolve or change. Based on purely evil or purely good then you would have to get rid of the Star Wars series because over the series Darth Vader goes from good to evil and then at last minute redeems himself. That doesn’t sound like pure good versus pure evil.

If an author wants to write a fantasy story that has people that are realistic they should feel free.

If you look at the entire series of Harry Potter it is still a story of good versus evil, you have Harry, Ron, and Hermione and the Order of the Phoenix versus Voldermort and the Death Eaters. Yes the good characters may have flaws and the bad characters may have “good” moments but isn’t that closer to reality.


I do not agree and a couple years ago would have gone into great detail as to why I think HP is a very bad thing, yet the HP stories have been talked into the ground and I really cannot conceived of anyone changing their minds at this point. :slight_smile:


That’s why the first line of my first response said “This has been discussed numerous times on here. Search through the archives for Harry Potter.” :wink:


I really dont know what to think. It seems like it would be ok to watch but isnt the content in it against the Church?It seems like watching something that is against the Church is wrong. Mabye im being paranoid:confused:


I have not let my kids watch/read HP…take that for whatever it is worth.


It would be wrong NOT to see them!


The movie is a fantasy. Other then the use of witchcraft there is nothing “against the church” in it. Magic is involved in many fantasy novels, everything from Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, the Chronicles of Narnia to the Wizard of Oz.

The USCCB says "it remains very clearly a fantasy, in no way a textbook for teaching black magic, and thus is no threat to Catholic teaching. " so as long as you realize it is fiction and a fantasy story and don’t place anything other then its just a movie you should be fine.

If you have problems with it, don’t see it. It’s a choice that you have to make based on your understanding and what could tempt to sin or not tempt you. Just like any movie. The USCCB reviews give you a good idea of whether a movie is morally objectionable or not but beyond that it is your decision.


The USCCB has not proved to be good at reviewing movies.


Notice how I phrased my statement “The USCCB reviews give you a good idea of whether a movie is morally objectionable or not but beyond that it is your decision.” I never said the reviews were complete or about the quality of the reviews, they however are pretty good at picking when a movie is totally “morally objectionable” or not. Honestly, it is probably one of the best sites I have seen for that. People may disagree with individual reviews (i.e. the Brokeback Mountain debacle) but by and large they are a pretty good starting point.


What is USCCB?


US Conference of Catholic Bishops

Part of their site is a place that reviews most movies that are shown in the US either on the big screen or on DVD.

The link is usccb.org/movies/


I do not agree, I have seen several reviews that I strongly disagree with on a moral level and have at times been very shocked with favorable reviews they have given to trash. The problem is the Bishops have absolutely nothing to do with the reviews, they do not even read them, much less approve them. It is a misleading thing to have those reviews posted under the umbrella of the USCCB because Catholics think they are from the Bishops.


Honestly that is your opinion, and you can do with it what you want. If you do not agree then don’t go to a movie or don’t send your kids. That is your right. It is a fine line determining whether a movie can be seen by a person that can discern the good from the bad and whether one is totally morally objectionable. Just because a movie may not agree with church teaching doesn’t make it morally objectionable. A well informed person and a person well grounded in the faith can view movies they rate with a ‘L’. For good reason (i.e. scholarly research, etc.) they can even view those with a ‘M’. As for youth in the end it is up to the parents to review what their kids are seeing and not the job of anyone else.

Personally I haven’t seen any online reviews from a Catholic perspective that are better then the USCCB.

As I said before the USCCB reviews are a good starting point, just that, not the end all and be all of movie reviews.


I think you are quite wrong here. Have you read the books? I find that they have a very true and realistic view of good and evil in regards to human beings. It is not a dualistic view, which is wrong, where things are just black and white. The book Chamber of Secrets sums it up quite well by saying that it is our actions that make us who we are, that determine whether we follow the path of good or of evil. How is that blurring the lines? It actually seems to be a very accurate and Catholic understanding to me.

In my opinion, the books are full of christian morality. I highly recommend them.


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