Category: Harry Potter

Harry Potter dangerous, says Vatican

The Vatican’s chief exorcist has claimed the Harry Potter stories could lead children into Satanism. Father Gabriele Amorth said: “You start off with Harry Potter, who comes across as a likeable wizard, but you end up with the Devil. “There is no doubt that the signature of the Prince of Darkness is clearly within these Harry Potter books.” Father Amorth, 80, who has carried out 3000 exorcisms since 1986, said: “By reading Harry Potter, a young child will be drawn into magic, and from there it is a simple step to Satanism and the Devil.” Harry Potter has already been

Harry Potter now required reading

Course focuses on boy wizard books Prof sees parallels with the Christ story ST. JOHN’S, NFLD. — Harry Potter has moved from the bestseller list to a university reading list. In a new course at Memorial University of Newfoundland, professor Jennifer Porter and her religious studies students are exploring biblical themes in the six books penned by British author J.K. Rowling. “I think there’s a sense that popular culture and media generally are ignoring religion or that religion doesn’t play a part in

Practicing Wiccan says Harry Potter series is not about religion

The opening of the new Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” today will bring both avid fans and staunch critics to the forefront. Some will even decry the series as one that teaches children the art of witchcraft, while others will compare the characters and their practices with real people who practice Wicca. So what does a practicing Wiccan have to say about all the stereotyping, assumptions and criticisms? “It’s very sad that people have such polarized views about this series,” says Maria Kay Simms, a Kensington resident, Wiccan high priestess, and Harry Potter fan who

Serious Potter Fanatics

Harry Potter nuts are gathering for the first academic conference focusing on the world of their teenage wizard hero. For the price of ?235, lovers of the JK Rowling books will enjoy Hogwarts-style banquets and play the game of Quidditch over the weekend. Professors and academics will descend on Reading University for three days to discuss topics such as the social problems of the wizarding community. There will also be a mock trial of potions master Severus Snape, who is played by Alan Rickman in the films. But under-18s will not be allowed to take part in the conference, despite

‘Potter’ readers might need a hankie

A word of caution to all those hard-core fans about to dive into the latest adventures of Harry Potter: There will be tears. And they will be yours. It’s odd to think of the next-to-last Potter book as being a turning point but, in so many ways, that’s the truth about “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” J.K. Rowling’s hero is no longer a boy wizard; he’s a young man, determined to seek out and face a young man’s challenges. Veteran Potter readers shouldn’t worry about outgrowing the series, but younger fans may find that it has grown up too

Harry Potter is converting Christian critics

DALLAS — Harry Potter: pariah or parable? For a vocal group of Christians, the answer was resoundingly pariah when “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” made its U.S. debut in 1998. The Harry Potter books, dealing with Harry’s education at a school of witchcraft and wizardry, have topped the American Library Association’s list of most protested books since 1999, according to Beverley Becker of the association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom in Chicago. Some churches even burned the books. The books’ opponents cited biblical injunctions against witchcraft and divination, such as those found in Exodus and Leviticus. But that opposition may

Writer: Pope expressed concern over ‘Harry Potter’ books

BERLIN (AP) — In a letter sent two years before becoming pope, Benedict XVI expressed concern that the Harry Potter books “erode Christianity in the soul” of young people, a German writer says. The comments came in an exchange of letters between then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Gabriele Kuby, a Bavarian-based Roman Catholic sociologist who penned a book criticizing J.K. Rowling’s blockbusters. In a letter dated March 7, 2003, the text of which could be seen Thursday on Kuby’s Web site, Ratzinger thanked her for sending him a copy of “your informative book.” “It is good that you are throwing light

Book stores brace for record Harry Potter rush

LONDON (Reuters) – The sixth and penultimate installment of the “Harry Potter” saga goes on sale at the weekend, ending months of hype, gag orders and arrests marking the build-up to the publishing event of the year. Book stores bracing for the latest outbreak of “Pottermania” cannot remember a launch like the one planned for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” “There’s nothing quite like Harry Potter in publishing,” said Caroline Horn, children’s book expert at the Bookseller magazine. In a carefully orchestrated opening, witching hour arrives at one minute past midnight London time on Saturday (2301 GMT Friday), allowing

Harry Potter fans ready to be spellbound

The latest book in the series will be released Saturday morning. You’ve got five more days to rest up, Harry Potter fans — or to re-read the first five books. Because next weekend, we know what you’ll be doing. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” the sixth installment of J.K. Rowling’s popular book series, will be released at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. And if previous releases are any indication, the event is likely to be another wand-waving, face-painting, chocolate-frog-eating, spellbinding celebration, followed by several days of nose-in-your-book silence. “We’re excited,” said Sheila Malay, a Wichita mother of three. She and her

Middle schoolers learn science from Harry Potter

NORFOLK, Va. — When the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fly off on broomsticks, most Harry Potter fans think “magic.” Charlene Haviland thinks “aerodynamics.” And when Professor Albus Dumbledore snaps his fingers to turn on the lights, the middle school teacher gets excited — at the prospect of explaining how a remote control works. Haviland will get her chance this fall, when she teaches an after-school remedial program for eighth-graders that will combine reading with the study of science in the Harry Potter books. She’ll use one book per quarter, so the students won’t get to the