Friday, October 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Harry Potter and the Vatican Seal of Approval

We don't know what Pope Benedict XVI personally thinks, but according to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" got two thumbs up from the reviewer, who approved of the film's message that it requires "costs and sacrifice" for good to triumph over evil.

Harry Potter and the Vatican Seal of Approval

We don't know what Pope Benedict XVI personally thinks, but according to the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince got two thumbs up from the reviewer, who approved of the film's message that it requires "costs and sacrifice" for good to triumph over evil.

Why is this news? Because many religious observers here and abroad, most recently the Rev. Gerhard Maria Wagner of Austria, have denounced the Harry Potter novels and movies as advocating Satanism.

(Most mystifying line in the review: "The spastic search for immortality epitomized by Voldemort is stigmatized." Which, translated from the Italian, probably means "Voldemort is foiled").

My feeling is that we project our beliefs onto movies rather than vice-versa. But I'll ask the question: Has a film ever shaken your religious belief? Exalted it? For the agnostic, favorite Harry Potter flick? Why? (Mine: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (director, Alfonso Cuaron) and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (director, Mike Newell) because rather than regurgitating the novels, they told the stories, dramatically and cinematically.

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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