The Only Evil Fiction Catholic's should avoid

When ever Catholics want to debate which book is evil it is always 1 boy wizard who gets the spotlight. Maybe Twilight. Not the Wizard of Oz or Artimis Fowl or even The Golden Compass.

Is there another book that should be avoided besides Harry Potter?

Is Harry Potter the only books that exorcists warn against?

Is Harry Potter the only fiction the pope warned against?

Is there any other book series that is popular enough to cause debate?

Should these threads always be about Harry Potter?

How about a general discussion about liturture in general?

Why no warnings about Stephen King? How about the Hunger Games? Other Fantasy Kid’s books.

What other books might casue 2 groups of faithful Catholics to bicker back and fourth?

Harry Potter is not the only liturture worth debating is it?

Harry Potter is not evil. J.K. Rowling admitted it’s Christian herself. I’m so sick of that.

You mentioned one series that IS evil. The Golden Compass. Thankfully the movie was a bomb. But, the books are still popular I’d say. I only say they’re evil because the whole plot of the books are about killing God. Books are not evil just because they have magic in them or vampires or anything like that.

I don’t see how Twilight is evil?

The Wizard of Oz? Seriously?

I haven’t read the Hunger Games.

Harry Potter gets debated a lot because it’s that much more popular than anything else you’ve mentioned, that’s all.

Yes, I think that some Christians don’t necessarily object to the stories, but to the fact that Rowling is now a mega billionaire. We Christians sometimes develop a distrust of wealth,and get suspicious of those who manage to acquire it, even if they earn it through their own hard work.

I say, good for Rowling! She apparently struggled along for many years, living in poverty, and worked on her Potter series for all those years. Good for her, and I hope the same happens to many of us with our various artistic pursuits!

As for the OP, I don’t think ?? they are condeming the books they listed. I may be wrong about this, but I think?? that they are merely raising the point that if we are going to condemn one piece of fantasy fiction that has “occult” leanings, that we should be consistent and condemn it all . In other words, Bewitched (the old television show) and Scooby Doo are off the list for all us Christians! So avoid those pesky kids!

One thing I like about Rowling is how she always keeps in touch with fans of her work. Which is one thing I like in an author: I’ll admit that I’m not too much of a fan of those who play hard-to-get.

Interesting comments about Rowling herself. I do hope that this does’t turn into another pro-Harry/Anti-Harry Debate. I want to have a discussion about Principles…
What makes bad liturture that should be avoided? What are the general principles? I recall from other websites that even Lord of the Rings has lead others into paganism. You also have others skeptical about Narnia. I even heard someone on Catholic Answers Live call in and question any movie that had talking animals in it. Can’t remember the example he used.

So besides Harry Potter, what are the general principles of what to avoid when it comes to letting catholics read lit. The index of forbidden books is gone and Harry Potter isnt the only book out there.

Is there any other popular books that others are weary of?

How about Mark Twain? Chalres Dickens wront a lot of Ghost stories. Rolan Dahl wrote a book about a kid and his dad who go off to steal birds.

what else do you think? :shrug:

A strong catechesis, combined with a strong love of the Lord and a desire to aid anyone who is in need, is far stronger than any horror, any fantasy, any fanciful misconception of how, what or why the world is.

Besides, the sheer number of books you think may be questionable requires all to be firmly grounded and practicing in our faith, for what you flee in fear the most could meet you halfway. Evil is almost everywhere, but God is, as well, and is far stronger for those who know Him.

EXCELLENT Response. That is a great general principle. Do Christians use principles when choosing what to read (or watch, or listen) or do many just say … So and So said it was bad so will avoid it. This was a great quote. :thumbsup:

If you’re looking for a Catholic view of the general principles, I recommend reading John Paul II’s Letter to Artists:

FYI, neither the pope nor the Church condemned Harry Potter. Anyone who tells you different is putting words in the Pope’s mouth. :wink:

FYI, neither the pope nor the Church condemned Harry Potter. Anyone who tells you different is putting words in the Pope’s mouth.

Papal Aid: Your Holliness I got the next book you ordered.

Pope: Gosh It’s great to have all this free time to read popular fiction so I can read it and tell the faithful to avoide it. Seveal people in the Papal household stopped practicing magic becasue of my blurb to that woman who wrote to me about Potter. I really hated the swiss guard’s being turned into mice. And flyinga broom around St. Peter’s, that is not good. Also that Twilight was aweful, but I am glad Bella waited till she was married. What’s my next book?

Papal Aid: It’s the Hunger Games.

Pope: Oh, a book about Gluttoney. Does it have witches or vampires in it?

Papal Aid: It does have kids savengly killing one another for sport. There are 3 books in the series.

Pope: Sounds like the Roman games back again. Lets see i don’t have an appointment till 4:00 PM. Please bring me some German beer and I’ll cozy up and read this.


This is just absurd. I’m certain the Pope would say no such thing. He would ask for Bavarian beer. :wink:

I heard only the third book is about that… I read the first one several years ago and it didn’t seem to be evil, but then again I don’t really remember much about it other than that everyone in it had a “dæmon” that was part of their soul :shrug:

Sounds like a terrible plot nonetheless.

I haven’t heard the pope damning Harry Potter. Thats new to me. Does anyone have a link to this?!

The Golden Compas has a very evil message in the superiority of atheism as oppsed to the belief in God. And the only good scene in the movie was the polar bear fight.

Twilight could be considered evil in the love triangle thing, I suppose. But with parental guidence that can be avoided. So I don’t consider it too evil. Stupid, darn twinkling glowing vamps anyway, but evil I can’t see.

The Coming Insurrection is a very evil book… and with so many occcupation movements out there, parents should be made aware of this book. Its not fiction, but that may not stop a kid from reading it.

If writing Ghost stories is evil then I’m guilty. I’ve written a few. His stories go hand in hand with Christmastide, and the belief that the supernatural world grows very strong during these twelve days. One popular legend in it is the Wild Hunt.

I’d say the only TRULY evil book is if we look at the message, and see if its trying to seduce us or our youth from the truth. That being said, the only two books I can think of at the moment that fits the bill there are the two I mentioned.

You haven’t heard about it because it didn’t happen. If it were true, it would be front page material for news organizations around the world.

I believe that the OP is referring to is a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger before he was pope. It was written in response to an unsolicited offer of an anti-Harry Potter book.

Here is the letter, in its entirety:

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Vatican City
March 7, 2003

Esteemed and dear Ms. Kuby!

Many thanks for your kind letter of February 20th and the informative book which you sent me in the same mail. It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.

I would like to suggest that you write to Mr. Peter Fleedwood, (Pontifical Council of Culture, Piazza S. Calisto 16, I00153 Rome) directly and to send him your book.

Sincere Greetings and Blessings,

  • Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Jimmy Akin had the following observations about the letter:

As a result, we have no way of knowing that this is anything more than a comment made as part of a polite thank you note and expressing a general impression of the subject based on second-hand information. There is no indication that the Cardinal had any significant first-hand knowledge of Harry Potter.

This also fails to go beyond the status of a personal opinion expressed in personal (not professional) correspondence. It thus has no binding force for Catholics.

Also, note what the Cardinal didn’t say:

1. He didn't say that nobody can read Harry Potter.
2. He didn't say that people who are secure in their faith can't read it.
3. He didn't say that young people of any particular age can't read it if their parents   read it with them to help them understand problematic bits.

There is more detailed analysis at Akin’s blog, should anyone care to give this letter more thought.

Well, if you’ll read your first post you kind of set it up as ‘another pro-Harry/Anti-Harry’ by the way you worded your questions.

However, what makes bad/good literature is a matter of opinion, and well, I’ve got as much opinion as anyone and it’s worth a lot less than most.

I don’t think there are any popular books to be wary of. Most of the critique of HP is the issue of it’s suitability for children. That it may influence individuals who have not as yet have a fully formed conscience and therefore do not read it from a christian viewpoint to begin with. So, the issue isn’t with the author as much as it is with the audience, the reader. I’ve posted this before but there is a great line from a comedy song ‘Smut’ written by Tom Lehr (That was the Year That Was) as a commentary on the USCOTUS decision on pornography.
“When correctly viewed, anything is lewd.
I could tell you stories about Peter Pan, or the Wizard of Oz.
(There’s a dirty Old Man)”

If literature is an expression of ideas via a novel/short story or some other written fiction, I would say the measure of good literature is that it accurately presents the message the author intended to convey. Communicates the ideas and concepts intended- which doesn’t require the reader to accept them or agree with them (heck, the author might not either, they may be trying to provoke thought vice elicit support for the position their characters seem to be espousing). Simply understand them, and what the author is saying about them. In short, good literature is the communication of a truth as the author sees it.

Now in another HP thread, a commenter stated they believed that great literature is that which presents an idea/concept that is in fact TRUTH. That an author has provided a commentary in which their viewpoint does in fact coincide with a profound Truth which all can relate to.

Which gets back to the audience. Literature requires an audience, that audience reads with their own biases and knowledge base. They bring almost as much to the work as the author. We may read into something the author never intended but that we find profound. I see a lot of christian symbology in HP, the literal attachment of the soul to things of this world as an inherently evil act that leads to one’s eternal damnation. This is shown literally in HP and therefore some see it as ‘cheapening the message’. That because it is so blatant it precludes the work from being considered great.

I can’t know for sure what Rowlings or any other author intended unless they tell me. If they have to explain their work to me for me to understand it, then either they’ve failed or I have. But where’s the breakdown? Them for not understanding their target audience? Me for not understanding or allowing my own prejudices/biases to conflict with considering the ideas in the work?

I can read or even write works with ideas which conflict with my own values. I can consider opinions contrary to my own. I don’t think literature is bad for presenting those ideas, I do not have to accept them, but I should be able to provide a reasoned response. Contemplate exactly why I reject those values/concepts, understandy my own contrary position better, as well as the position they seem to be setting forth.

I don’t really feel like Harry Potter gets a lot of flack from Catholic circles. In my experience, most of the criticism of the series comes from a few very vocal groups which are largely Protestant. I feel like Harry Potter is controversial not because of what it’s actually about, but because it acts as a lightning rod for ideas about the sinfulness of fictional magic. Catholics don’t have anyone saying that fictional magic is always wrong and so it’s pretty safe to assume that it’s not (given how widespread it is, and the fact that the USCCB actually reviews movies), but for Evangelical Protestants, it’s more of an open debate.

well Stephen King books I think are great and a good read on a long car trip or rainy day. I got over Harry Potter when I was younger. To me there just books and just because it has magic in it does not mean somone is going to go out and start doing it. I could care less about it

Magic may not be real, but thread necromancy is! :wink:

I am a fan of King (no matter what S.T. Joshi writes :D)

The only book King ever wrote that truly made me sick (not in a disapproving way, just while I was reading it) was* Pet Semetary*. The questions it asks are so disturbing. Because for most of us in deep grief, we would have done the same thing – I think anyway. Needful Things is snicker inducing with its Catholics vs. Baptists. The full film version is certainly more Christianized than the books Lovecraftian subplot.

I could never get into Potter – the first book came out when I was in middle school. I was in an Agatha Christie and Cynthia Voigt craze then – Harry couldn’t touch Poirot of Dicey Tillerman. Parents just have to know what their children are reading. My parents didn’t – that’s how I read Anne Rice when I was in middle school. Too soon! :rolleyes:

I love and M.R. James ghost story (and those in its vein). If anyone loves muted supernatural stories read Northwest Passages by Barbara Roden – creepy stuff!

Scooby Do?

Those meddlin’ kids just go around proving monsters they encounter are just hoaxes, who would have gotten away with it if not for …

Unless someone is saying that a dog that sorta kinda talks is supernatural, lol.

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