At the time that our now Pope Benedict XVI, voiced his opinion about the Harry Potter series, he was what they called a Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. You can find information about that on this page. What does that mean? Well, let's take this step-by-step. I have a Catholic Dictionary, edited by Donald Attwater, 3rd edition, published by TAN books, that I took my definitions from.
A prefect is one exercising delegated authority of a strictly limited scope. The strictly limited scope in this case would be the doctrine of the faith. What is doctrine? Doctrine is
That which is taught. Christian doctrine ordinarily means that body of revealed and defined truth which a Catholic is bound to hold, but is often extended to include those teachings which are not of faith but are generally held and acted upon. Occasionally the word indicates these last only, "the teachings of theologians," as distinct from "the faith taught by the Church."Now, a German author, Gabriele Kuby, submitted her book to Cardinal Ratzinger for review, in which she expressed disapproval of the Harry Potter series. Cardinal Ratzinger wrote her telling her
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.While Cardinal Ratzinger did not put out an official statement about the books, he DID express this opinion, from the position of Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith. That is an opinion I deeply respect.
If you needed legal advice, would you go to a lawyer, or a cashier at the local Seven Eleven?
So, am I going to treat F&F as severely as I was going to when I first saw this headline? Still not sure. One of the editors did get on the thread and explain a little. I understand why they allowed this, because this is not OFFICIAL teaching of the Church. I do however believe that a site like that should be making sure our youth are protected from any, ANY, temptation that might take us further from God. I will end this with a quote from the Catechism.
1853: Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man.” But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.