Harry Potter Not a Problem, Says Church Figure

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Harry Potter has them talking — even at the Vatican.

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The name of the fictional wizardly apprentice came up today during a press conference on the document «Jesus Christ the Bearer of the Water of Life: A Christian Reflection on the ‘New Age.'»

Father Peter Fleetwood of the secretariat of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) answered a reporter’s questions, saying that for a Catholic, «Harry Potter does not represent a problem.»

The English priest, a former member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said that «in each one’s childhood there have been fairy godmothers, magicians, angels and witches, which are not bad things but a help for children to understand the conflict between good and evil.»

According to Father Fleetwood, J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, «is a Christian, perhaps not in the sense that every bishop would like, but she lives like a Christian and writes as such.»

It was the first time that Harry Potter educed a public statement in the framework of the Vatican Press Office.

Those at the press conference included Cardinal Paul Poupard and Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, presidents of the pontifical council for culture and for interreligious dialogue, respectively.

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