Harry Potter and Being "So Catholic"

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The “Pillar” household adopted a new kitten this week.  How exciting and I think the most fun is always what to name it.  When the last kitten arrived, I was not consulted, but my dream of one day having an orange cat was their reasoning for bring him home only 3 days after my knight’s long-time tabby had to be put down at age 18 of renal failure.  After my initial shock in not letting good old Stanley get cold in the backyard, they told me they wanted me to name it.  “Lolek” was my answer.  There was silence in the room until one of the girls remembered whose name that was.  Blessed John Paul II’s baby name his mother called him.  This time the family agreed on Hermione after the character in Harry Potter.  As a tortoise-shell calico with about 3/4 of her face beige and a mystical look to her, it seemed to fit her.

Anyway off to the vet and then to run errands with her in tow.  We ran into a friend who got the pleasure of meeting little Hermione and within a moment or two he made an observation. “It interesting the whole magic, witchcraft and wizardry thing and you being….well”.  “So Catholic?” I picked up on that one rather quickly.  “Yeah.” He said.

Well, my feeling about the whole Harry Potter and the wizardry is very basic, you can enjoy the story without getting carried away with the logistics.  I know that there has been lots of debate about the Harry Potter books, the magic, spells, the darkness, and witchcraft and wizardry, but as my eldest daughter put it, “It’s just reading about something that would be sort of cool if it really existed, that’s all.”  All five of us read the series and watched the movies.  We all agree that as the books progressed so did the darkness, but all in all, we saw the plot reiterate good vs. evil; love and friendship, devotion, and truth as being the main point, not the potions and spells.

Now I have taught my children that idolatry is evil and that even wearing someone’s face on their shirt is somewhat confusing to me. We don’t get dragged into the whole commercial thing of costumes, posters, toys, and games, the books and the movies are quite enough, really.

So, to bottom line my thoughts on this issue, I don’t want my children to believe in magic, or think that witchcraft and horoscopes are to be consulted and they don’t.  We talked about all these books, that was the original reason I read the books to begin with and then I just enjoyed reading them.  I know that at first the Church didn’t like the book…then JPII ok’d the books and we put them back in the Catholic School our middle daughter attended back in 2000.  Over the past few years, I know that Pope Benedict XVI isn’t fond of them, but I don’t think he wants them banned.  Correct me if I am wrong!  Being “so Catholic” has it’s responsibilities and I’m not the best one to be the example, that I am very aware of.  So, to er is human, but I am very aware of how my children think about this issue and many more.

Copyright 2011 Ebeth Weidner

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About Author

Ebeth Weidner, a Master Catechist and cradle Catholic who considers herself a Catholic information junkie, writes from her heart about the faith and hope she finds in the Catholic Church. She is the author of “A Catholic Mom Climbing the Pillars” blog. She is the wife of a research science Professor and mom to 3 great young people living on the coastal side of North Carolina.

1 Comment

  1. Whether we want our children to believe in magic or not is really not the issue. Magic is real, witches cast spells, and all use the power of the devil which is not something that will ever cross the threshold of our “So Catholic” home. And I know whereof I speak b/c I did read the first 2 books…with my children…never happen again simply b/c of the wizardry & the truth that it is out there as much as the devil is out there too! God bless!!!

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