Speaking the Truth

We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.
- Mother Angelica

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Harry Potter and Cardinal Ratzinger

As some of you may know, I recently wrote about my disappointment of a post on one of my most favorite websites, Faith and Family Live! Since I wrote it, I have spoken to a very dear friend of mine and have gained some more insight into the controversy.

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.

4 comments:

Elena said...

He expressed his opinion about Kuby's book. But he didn't express an opinion directly about the Potter series, nor did he condemn them. I'll bet he never read them!

Karen said...

Wow, Elena, you just can't let this thing go, huh? His opinion did absolutely directly relate to the Potter series whether you like it or not. And I know it's easier to think, "I bet he never read them." But I think that is an insult to him. Why would he say what he said to Kuby if he didn't know what he was talking about? Really?

You are entitled to your opinion, and I'm pretty sure I'm entitled to mine.

Elena said...

Why is that an insult? They're big books? Why would I expect a busy man like the pope have the time to read popular literature?

All we know for sure is that Kuby wrote him, and we know his reply to what he read. Period.

And yes you are entitled to your opinion. I am assuming that you want to hear the opinion of other people who read your blog - and that's why you have comment boxes yes?

Karen said...

I welcome any and all comments Elena. I just thought I was done with this debate. It has been debated to death over at F&F, so I'm just not sure why you are here to debate this further with me. I posted there, and I will post here, that my initial reaction to what I saw was unwarranted. I shouldn't have acted the way I did. I have been open to hearing both sides since then, but my opinion remains the same. So if you could just respect that, much appreciated.