Catholic church stands up for Harry Potter
Staff and agencies
Tuesday February 4, 2003
A Vatican spokesman has defended the Harry Potter books and films, saying they are consistent with Christian morals.
The Rev Peter Fleetwood, a member of the Vatican’s council for culture, was speaking at the launch of a document warning of the dangers of “new age” spiritual beliefs to the Catholic faith. The draft document is designed to counter a perceived drift away from the church toward belief in crystals, feng shui and other practices not based in Christian teaching.
Asked whether the Harry Potter books fell into the same category, Mr Fleetwood said, “I don’t see any, any problems in the Harry Potter series.” He went on to say that the good v evil message of the books was consistent with Christian morality.
Countering suggestions from some evangelical groups that the tales of magic school add glamour to occult beliefs, he said, "I don’t think there’s anyone in this room who grew up without fairies, magic and angels in their imaginary world. They aren’t bad. They aren’t serving as a banner for an anti-Christian ideology.
“If I have understood well the intentions of Harry Potter’s author, they help children to see the difference between good and evil. And she is very clear on this.”
Finally, he said JK Rowling was “Christian by conviction, is Christian in her mode of living, even in her way of writing.” The fifth Harry Potter book, The Order of the Phoenix, is released on June 21, with the third film expected later this year.