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Vatican goes to war with Harry Potter

world Updated: Jan 17, 2008 04:09 IST

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The Vatican City has slammed JK Rowling’s Harry Potter as "the wrong kind of hero" who poses a danger to children across the world.

In a damning article, the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has condemned the popular teenage boy wizard for promoting witchcraft and occult. Under the headline ‘The Double Face of Harry Potter’, the article by an English literature experts says, “Despite the values that we come across in the narration, at the base of this story, witchcraft is proposed as a positive ideal.”

<b1>“The violent manipulation of things and people comes thanks to knowledge of the occult. The ends justify the means because the knowledgeable, the chosen ones, the intellectuals know how to control the dark powers and turn them into good.

“This a grave and deep lie, because it is the old Gnostic temptation of confusing salvation and truth with a secret knowledge. The characterisation of common men who do not know magic as ‘muggles’ who know nothing other than bad and wicked things is a truly diabolical attitude.”

The writer, Professor Edoardo Rialti of Florence University, says while the works of JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis show “a transcendence and the beauty of the infinite”, Harry Potter books have an “inverted and confused spirituality”.