Among the odd things I’ve seen in the Catholic world, one of the oddest is the capacity of some Catholic Harry Potter fans to go zero-to-60 on the manic meter instantaneously at the mere suggestion that there might be something spiritually deleterious about HP. Someone who’s done more than suggest this is Canadian Catholic author and artist, Michael O’Brien, earning himself some, at times raucous, push-back from those who disagree with him.
I’ve known Michael personally for about 16 years now and know him to be astute, prudent, humble, deeply intellectual and, to be frank, a sage in the area of Catholic spirituality. In my estimation, his critique of HP, while unpopular with most HP-lovers, is bang-on-the-bullseye accurate. (Some years ago, he and I recorded a two-hour discussion of the problems involved with the HP phenomenon that showcases his lucid and compelling reasoning on this issue.)
My guess is that because Michael’s critique of HP is more sophisticated and substantive than many of the arguments I have seen mounted in defense of it, he gets under some people’s skin when they realize they can’t invalidate his analysis. One also notices at times a sharp contrast between the calm restraint which characterizes Michael’s presentation and the asperity of some who attempt to rebut him. In any case, as reported the other day by Lifesitenews.com, Michael O’Brien has recently taken the occasion to rebut the rebutters.
The July 18 LifeSiteNews story, Harry Potter expert criticizes Vatican newspaper’s glowing review of Deathly Hallows 2, was widely read and elicited many comments both pro and con, especially regarding the statements of Potter critic Michael O’Brien. In response to this, LifeSiteNews conducted an additional, in-depth interview with O’Brien to allow him to expand on his views and respond to some of the many comments readers posted beneath the story.
In the interview O’Brien explains why he became involved in critiquing the Harry Potter series, his views on why the series has become so popular and the astonishing and at times hateful criticism that Potter critics have received, such as O’Brien himself being called “the anti-Christ” by a Potter fan. O’Brien also answers the question of what he means by “the evil means” used by Harry to defeat Voldemort, why Harry Potter is not just “entertainment”, why it is appropriate for LifeSiteNews to cover the Harry Potter issue, how Rowling’s pro-homosexual views may be reflected in the novels, and more . . . (continue reading)
UPDATE: See also Lifesitenews.com’s July, 2005, article: Pope Opposes Harry Potter Novels – Signed Letters from Cardinal Ratzinger Now Online