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Vatican slams Harry Potter
January 16, 2008 14:10 IST
The Vatican City has slammed JK Rowling's Harry Potter [Images] 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 -- the Church's latest view on the Potter series.
Under the headline 'The Double Face of Harry Potter', the article by an expert in English literature says: 'Despite the values that we come across in the narration, at the base of this story, witchcraft is proposed as a positive ideal. 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, has also tried to establish a parallel between the 'fantasy masterpieces' -- CS Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia and JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings -- with Potter, according to The Daily Telegraph.
He argues that other than 'superficially apparent common points', there's nothing similar between the books.
While the works of Tolkien and Lewis show 'a transcendence and the beauty of the infinite', he claims Harry Potter books have an 'inverted and confused spirituality: A world where bad is good' and that they are characterised by a 'vague, new-age philosophy.'
A spokesman for JK Rowling has declined to comment.