07/14/2005: Well, he did head what was once known as....
The Office of the Holy Inquisition....
This just in (well, just in at the DBV newsdesk): Pope Criticises Harry Potter
Pope Benedict XVI has condemned the Harry Potter books as "subtle seductions," capable of corrupting young Christians, in two letters which have now been published online.Of course, as J.K. Rowling's spokesdroids were quick to point out, these are judgements that date from a while ago, long before then-Cardinal Ratzinger was elected pope.
The Pope's comments were included in two letters to Gabriele Kuby, the German religious author, who had sent him a copy of her book, Harry Potter - gut oder böse? (Harry Potter: Good or Evil?)
In one response, dated March 2003, he wrote in German: "It is good that you enlighten us on the Harry Potter matter, for these are subtle seductions that are barely noticeable, and precisely because of that have a deep effect and corrupt the Christian faith in souls even before it could properly grow."
He also thanked the author for her "instructive" book, in which Frau Kuby says the hugely popular Potter novels risk corrupting young people, preventing them from developing a proper sense of good and evil. She argued this could harm a child's developing relationship with God.
In a second letter sent to Kuby on May 27, 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger "gladly" gave his permission for Frau Kuby to make public "my judgement about Harry Potter."
He also encouraged her to send her book to the Vatican prelate.
Then again, it's not like Ratzinger has been known for his tendency to change his mind....
UPDATE: Jo Fish at Democratic Veteran has some most excellent snark in reference to this story:
Well, I can understand Ratzi's discomfort with Harry Potter, since it is set in an English Boarding School and there is not a single account of a person in a position of trust molesting a student. I mean really, it hardly upholds the standards of the Catholic Priesthood and Right Thinking does it?
Len on 07.14.05 @ 12:39 PM CST