Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Harry Potter and Fr. Amorth

Fr. Gabriele Amorth has recently been reported making negative comments about the Harry Potter books. Fr. Amorth used to be the chief exorcist of Rome. He no longer holds that position although he is certainly still active from time to time as an exorcist. Since I posted not too long ago on the subject of Harry Potter, and many people have read that post, I thought I should comment about Fr. Amorth's remarks. First of all, I have great respect for him and I recognise that has far more knowledge and experience than I do. This means that I take his comments seriously and need to think about them. Whilst I still have problems with a complete condemnation of Harry Potter, I am also aware that there may be elements in the books and films that could harm susceptible children. That being said, I now feel that great caution should be observed regarding these materials.


  1. I wonder if Fr Amroth has actually read any Harry Potter books or seen anyof the films. I read some of the books with my daughter and have seen all of the films. They appear to me to be simply ripping yarns. The world depicted is self-contained and characteristically circumscribed as a product of the author's imagination. In other words it is difficult to see any real link with either Satanism or the occult. I am inclined to suspect that Fr Amroth has, in an unguarded moment, thrown out a vague reference from popular culture which he has heard has something to do with "magic". His remarks about Yoga, by contrast, seem more considered and more plausible.

  2. It has been said that Rowling is involved in the occult and witchcraft and that the "spells" contained within the books actually work. Besides, how could anything that could and does influence young people to think kindly of the occult be good? Young people are looking desperately for something to believe in and some kind of spiritual connection. To worship is one of our deepest drives. The Church is failing them sadly since Vatican II and the corruption of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, not to mention the new catechism. My own husband, when he converted into the New Ordo in the 80's bemoaned the fact that the mystery was gone. That thing which had first attracted him in his childhood had vanished. It wasn't until we found tradition that either one of us felt fulfilled. The loss of Faith of countless individuals will be laid at the door of the Churchmen who did nothing to stop all that and nothing to oppose all of the things that attack the innocence of young and the Faith of all Christians. Things like Rowling's infernal books and the movies made from them.

  3. And here we see the problem with the Harry Potter phenomenon. First of all, I have to say that I do not accept the accusation leveled against Rowling that she is "involved in the occult" - for two reasons; first of all the content of the books is not, and cannot be, evidence that this is true. Secondly, it is surely a case of rash, if not to say, unjust judgement (and this can be seriously sinful). Personally, I suspect (not without reason) that she is a Christian (though of what denomination I could not say). If that is true then it adds another aspect to the problem. I am concerned about the application of the Potter books etc and I think that vulnerable children could be at risk. But where do we draw the line? As I have said before, no one seems to complain about "The Wizard of Oz" even though there are clearly examples of white and black magic there - also, there is magic in "Lord of the Rings" as well as certain "magical" elements in the "Star Wars" films. Where is all the condemnation about those things? We have had many popular TV programmes and children's stories involving witches, goblins etc and hardly a word is said about them. Is the Potter problem largely due to its popularity? These are questions that will not go away, and, as I have said, there are more dangerous things than that going around. No one (to my knowledge) has spoken out about the recent vampire craze which puts many teenagers at risk, and when "Buffy" was all the rage I did not hear a peep out of any bishop or priest. I was aware of it and I did say something, but then I am not noteworthy so people would not have known. These are questions that we need to consider, so whilst I am deeply respectful of Fr. Amorth and others who know better than I, I am nevertheless skeptical of just how much the condemnation of Potter is really justified.

  4. I am very surprised that Fr. Amorth would take the time to make these comments. I also wonder if he has ever read any of the books. They are fantasy, adventure stories and could never be described as diabolical, and doubt very much if they would lead anyone into the dark arts.
    I certainly would not agree that J.K.Rowling was involved in the occult. I think that without proof, that statement is a terrible slur on her character. There is a great difference between doing research for a book and actually being involved in these practices.
    There are an alarming number of young people in Italy turning to the occult, wonder if they ever read Harry Potter or is there perhaps another cause that Fr. Amorth could look into.
    Blessings and prayers,

  5. I have only watched one HP film because my granddaughter wanted to, and frankly I found it very boring and stupid and full of noisy whizzing magical effects, in fact we both got bored pretty quickly. The Church ought to make its mind sup what is evil and what isn't, if the Church can't tell the difference who can we ask? Also the Church ought to know the difference between this kind of "cheap thrills" abd Firy stories/folk tales.

    The media is full of this kind of stuff these days, so where do you draw the line? However, there is a difference between Hans Christian Anderson and Harry Potter stuff. I presume Ampleforth Abbey did not have any moral qualms about allowing--and presumably getting a nice fee--to film the tale on their premises?