Father Donald Calloway Answer’s Harry Potter Questions

What is the difference between Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings?

Is All Fantasy Good?

Will Reading Harry Potter Make Your Kids Saints?

Does Harry Potter Follow the World or the Cross?

Will you watch all of this before dismissing it?

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We lost 60 subscribers with the last Harry Potter Post. Be warned, this one has much stronger language.

This is a follow-up to How Harry Potter Corrupts Our Children?

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122 comments to Father Donald Calloway Answer’s Harry Potter Questions

  • Ruth Fee

    Many thanks for Fr. Donald Calloway for his decisive analysis of the Harry Potter books. This kind of courage is God-given. Thank you Lord for courageous priests.

  • David Bangs

    What a shame it is that people run away from truth– and that you have lost subscribers over this issue. Thank you Fr. Calloway for your unwavering courage in the face of “the subtlety of satan.” Morality is not “relative” as our society portends. thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Caroline

    I tried to read the books and my spirit was not at peace. Same to the Vampire diaries. These books, as innocent as they seem, grieve the Holy Spirit as they push the creator of the world aside in favour of sorcery which whether good or bad hails from the evil one. You also have to be wise and realise that the devil is not stupid and uses what we refer to as normal to invoke him or acknowledge him as capable of giving good power. One has to be very careful what they allow themselves to watch, listen or read as most people forget that their mind is like a computer that stores everything either consciously or subconsciously. What people forget is that your senses, the eyes especially are the windows to the soul and therefore the Bible tells us to be on guard. You are a product of what you have exposed yourself to. If you read sexually explicit books, it is common to find one seeking a relationship that emulates what they have read. Same as watching soap operas that influence the young to think that it is very easy to get in and out of marriage. Harry potter books although they look innocent, exposes people to the basics of witchcraft. The Bible says you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself this, would the Holy Spirit, who is God, who dwells in you be happy with what you are reading which glorifies sin or another god? If God had forbidden and wiped out nations because of sorcery, visits to mediums and fortune tellers, and using magic for daily life, for good such as bringing rain and crops, why would it change now? God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is a jealous God. He says he yields His glory to no other. Respect that, worship him who created you, adore Him, for He is Love eternal. Without Him life is empty. Thank you Courageous Priest! God bless you always!

  • Ann

    Amen, Father Calloway! Thank you for courageously speaking Truth! You are an inspiration. Even though some will turn their backs, I pray that many will have the grace to hear and take it to heart. I will gladly subscribe to Courageous Priest to take the place of one of those who left. God bless!

  • Zaida

    I have read all the Harry Potter books, and see it as a story about good vs evil. I see it as I see The Wizard of Oz, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, and all the great tales about good and evil. There is so much morality in it as well – about how to treat others, respect, self restraint. The “muggles” are only made fun of by certain “un kind” characters, the “good” characters have respect for the muggles. There is also a great deal about coming of age, and redemption as well (Dudley, for example)…..I am a Christian who would be happy to have my children read the HP series!

  • Cathy Huppert

    I have read the Harry Potter books, as an adult. As a middle schooler I read MANY books, none of them took my from my 100% loyalty to the Roman Catholic Church. The fictional stories I read do not make me want to imitate them in any way…they are works of FICTION…pretend, I know they are not to be imitated…I knew that from a young age, because I had a well formed conscience.

    When I read Madame Bovary in high school, it didn’t make me think “oh what a wonderful role model she is, let me grow up to be an adultress.” When I read Romeo and Juliet, it didn’t make me want to kill myself because I couldn’t marry the man of my dreams…

    If a child has parents who SUPERVISE what their kids read (yeah and READ the books too!) and discuss what they are reading (we home school and do this)…these discussions can be VERY FRUITFUL…For instance: “If Harry were Catholic, how might he have better tackled this problem?” Or when St. “X” was confronted with “x” problem what did THEY do? THis teaches the child to put what they read into critical thinking mode and find OTHER solutions, resolutions to quandrys they are dealing with. If a child is not taught these crucial skills, they WILL fall for un-Truths.

  • Martha in SD

    Wow!!! This is so straight forward and truth, that I don’t understand how people cannot understand what he is saying and agree. This is not about Catholicism. This is about morality, prudence, and principles. Heck, it involves all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, and certainly involved the dangers of the Seven Capital Sins. I am shocked that this site lost 60 subscribers from this post. Shocking! Let’s pray for them that they will see their error in how they feel and think about this subject. Thank you for posting this. I can’t wait to share it with my 8- and 10-year-old daughters. They are not too young for this message.

  • abel

    I agree with Fr. Calloway. why are there so many Catholics questioning the danger of reading Harry Potter books. Instead of allowing our young children to read novels on witchcraft, the occult, and/or Satanism, teach them to read the stories of the Saints the the bible. Books like the Harry Potter series can and will allow the devil to enter into the minds of the reader and lead them astray.

  • Laurelee Beduhn

    Could you please give me an example of power being used to manipulate, deceive and lie to attain happiness or goods for another person. I have three boys who have read some of the books and I want to be knowledgeable when I talk to them about the books. I understand the message of the ends not justifying the means, but I would like to show them concrete examples. Thank for you help in understanding this.

  • Estelle

    I agree with everything you said, Father, trouble is I can’t convince my daughter who has allowed her children to read these books. I’ve told my grandson that it’s all fantasy and not okay to live this way and he says he understands. But how can he? He’s only 12 now and read them years ago. What can I do except to pray for this situation? Thank you for your bold witness to the Truth Who is Jesus! May God always bless you!

  • […] The Best of Courageous Priest: Part 2 1.  Father Donald Calloway Answer’s Harry Potter Questions […]

  • […] to be made however and Father Don Calloway explains it very well: Thanks to Jeff Gates over at the Courageous Priest for this one. He previously posted another excellent piece from Father Jim Costigan which is well […]

  • Here is a priest who for many years prior to his conversion lived out a sinful life and committed many immoral sins. You would think those Catholics questioning his judgement on Harry Potter would recognized his powers of discernment as he has first hand knowledge of the deceitful ways Satan can lured souls who are not watchful and wise to his ways. HE has been in a hell hole and is well acquainted with the wiles of the Devil. Some of these viewers also touched on something very disturbing. How fanatical some of the fans of Harry Potter can be. Many years ago I experienced such a disturbing sight when those ugly face dolls (cabbage face dolls) came out and I saw grown ups with financial eyes and faces coming to blows to obtained those dolls at the department stores. I made up my mind that my kid would not own one of those dolls! Fanatical attachment to anything that produces violence in speech or other types of vile action needs to be careful discern.

  • Joanne Ciocys

    Thank you, Fr Calloway, and all of our priests who are willing to challenge the Harry Potter push. We parents are already seen as “muggles” or at least as ignorant and bigoted when we guide our children according to the unchanging truths taught by the Church. There is so much public (and authoritative) support for lies today that it has become particularly important (and consoling, thank you) for the clergy to strengthen families by voicing the most unpopular truths.
    In my adult life, one thing that helped immensely toward loosening my own grip on wrong or questionable practices/beliefs was the question put to me by a priest while I was defending all manner of nonsense, “Do you NEED these things?” My answer was immediate “No, I only NEED Jesus”. I felt the relief as the STUFF fell away…
    If I had not, as so many had, already led my children to read HP, I might be in a better position to guide them now. As it is, your voice and your prayers are even more necessary and appreciated!!!

  • Joanne Ciocys

    If you’re still on the fence about Harry Potter, here’s a test that might guide you to the truth of this matter: in a gathering (even a Catholic one) offer a polite criticism of the HP stories. Then stand back!!! When I did this (even using a slight literary criticism), spit, accusations, and hostility flew at me in defense of the little wizard…
    When was the last time we were not PERMITTED to simply not be a FAN of a novel? The best way for me to prove to my family that that there is something significant about the HP controversy was to draw their attention to their strong attachment. If HP is insignificant, why are his fans intolerant of even slight disregard for the stories?
    I can’t recall another novel that inspired this sort of loyalty. And, ironically, people publicly criticize both the style and content of the Catholic Catechism AND the Bible without suffering such a violent response.

  • J.M.J.
    Praise God Almighty For Priests like Fr. Calloway. Thank you so much for this Video it’s been a true blessing for me and my Friends. God Bless you and keep Proclaiming the Gospel Of Truth till the whole world hears.

    Mark-Anthony

  • Gene

    From the link in the previous above:
    RIMSTING, Germany, July 13, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - LifeSiteNews.com has obtained and made available online copies of two letters sent by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was recently elected Pope, to a German critic of the Harry Potter novels. In March 2003, a month after the English press throughout the world falsely proclaimed that Pope John Paul II approved of Harry Potter, the man who was to become his successor sent a letter to a Gabriele Kuby outlining his agreement with her opposition to J.K. Rowling’s offerings. (See below for links to scanned copies of the letters signed by Cardinal Ratzinger.)

    As the sixth issue of Rowling’s Harry Potter series – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – is about to be released, the news that Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger expressed serious reservations about the novels is now finally being revealed to the English-speaking world still under the impression the VaticanÂapproves the Potter novels.

    In a letter dated March 7, 2003 Cardinal Ratzinger thanked Kuby for her “instructive” book Harry Potter – gut oder böse (Harry Potter- good or evil?), in which Kuby says the Potter books corrupt the hearts of the young, preventing them from developing a properly ordered sense of good and evil, thus harming their relationship with God while that relationship is still in its infancy.Â

    “It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly,” wrote Cardinal Ratzinger.Â

    The letter also encouraged Kuby to send her book on Potter to the Vatican prelate who quipped about Potter during a press briefing which led to the false press about the Vatican support of Potter. At a Vatican press conference to present a study document on the New Age in April 2003, one of the presenters – Rev. Peter Fleetwood – made a positive comment on the Harry Potter books in response to a question from a reporter. Headlines such as “Pope Approves Potter” (Toronto Star), “Pope Sticks Up for Potter Books” (BBC), “Harry Potter Is Ok With The Pontiff” (Chicago Sun Times) and “Vatican: Harry Potter’s OK with us” (CNN Asia) littered the mainstream media.

    In a second letter sent to Kuby on May 27, 2003, Cardinal Ratzinger “gladly” gave his permission to Kuby to make public “my judgement about Harry Potter.”

    The most prominent Potter critic in North America, Catholic novelist and painter Michael O’Brien commented to LifeSiteNews.com on the “judgement” of now-Pope Benedict saying, “This discernment on the part of Benedict XVI reveals the Holy Father’s depth and wide ranging gifts of spiritual discernment.” O’Brien, author of a book dealing with fantasy literature for children added, “it is consistent with many of the statements he’s been making since his election to the Chair of Peter, indeed for the past 20 years – a probing accurate read of the massing spiritual warfare that is moving to a new level of struggle in western civilization. He is a man in whom a prodigious intellect is integrated with great spiritual gifts. He is the father of the universal church and we would do well to listen to him.”

    English translations of the two letters by Cardinal Ratzinger follow:

    Joseph Cardinal RatzingerÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ
    Vatican City
    March 7, 2003

  • Ann

    I thank God for Priest like Fr Calloway! Deo Gratias! Deo Gratias!

  • Rachel

    Fr. Calloway

    Can you address the following comment I received from a theology student?
    ————————————————————————————————————–

    So why did the man that our pope considers an expert on the topic think that the books are fine? Why was JK Rowling invited to the Vatican to take part in a symposium?

    Amy

    _______________

    Who is the expert?
    What symposium?

    Have you read what the Pope thinks?
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/2005/jul/05071301

    Keep up the good work!

    John Quinn

  • Rachel

    Dear Fr. Calloway:
    I shared your video with some friends who have had me concerned about their addictions to HP books and here is one reply. Can you comment on her comments so I can rebut what she is saying. I am trying to bring your message to light with 2 people in particular. Thank you… her argument is below.

    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    I don’t know who Fr. Calloway is or what his expertise is, but I’d be willing to bet he didn’t read the books and is speaking from hearsay. His points are erroneous. The “means to an end” argument has been beaten to death by those who haven’t read the stories.

    Fr. Calloway alludes that characters in HP use their “powers” to steal and cheat, which is wrong. It doesn’t happen. He says that children should be reading about people who are “willing to die, sacrifice, forgive, to be merciful, to be compassionate, to love, to be martyred.”

    If he had read the books, he would realize that the characters in HP (Harry and his friends) ARE willing to die, sacrifice, forgive, and so forth. It’s the whole point of the stories. Because they ARE written from a Christian prospective, the characters DO struggle against evil and overcome it through sacrifice and martyrdom (yes, some characters DO sacrifice their lives in their struggle against evil).

    ____________

    http://www.courageouspriest.com/harry-potter-corrupts-children

    by Father Jim Costigan, CPM – Note: He has read the books.

    It’s proverbial : the best lies have the most truth; the most seductive evil appears as beautiful good. And if intelligent Christian parents who are careful about what they allow their children to read and who know, however dimly, that magic means sorcery – a grave evil, a violation of the First Commandment, a direct offense against God Himself – if these parents are not on their guard with the Harry Potter stories, then there are reasons they’re in the dark. What reasons? Well, perhaps we enjoy the novels ourselves, we get caught up in the adventure, we come to love Harry and his friends, and our critical faculty gets lulled to sleep. Or, confronted with the unprecedented success of the series, their garnering of nearly every literary laurel for children’s books, their endorsement by educators, publishers, critics, media stars, clergymen – that smiling mass of experts – we may doubt that our fears can be right, our objections valid; we wonder if we are not overreacting.

    “Lighten up,” we’re told. “It’s just fantasy, make-believe, like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. You let your kids read Tolkien and Lewis, right? Where’s the harm?”

    Here’s the harm

    Our heroes are sorcerers. The characters we admire spend seven years studying, and a lifetime becoming proficient in, something that is intrinsically and gravely evil – sorcery. No room for doubt here. Magic is good, Dark Magic bad. This is a false dichotomy. In the real world, in God’s Eyes, all sorcery, the manipulation of preternatural powers – which means, yes, demons – is dark, is evil. White magic/black magic opposition is propaganda sold us by the occultists themselves. The end justifies the means. This should be a bright red flag for American Christians. As we contracept for the good of our marriages and kill babies and old people for wonderful long-range goals, so Harry, Ron, and Hermione lie, cheat, steal, and harm others so that someday Voldemort will be defeated. Muggles are pathetic and/or despicable fools. “Perfectly normal,” “boring,” “law-abiding,” “square owners” of “square houses” —Muggles (non-magical people), as exemplified by the narrow-minded, hideous Dursleys and the timid, inept Prime Minister, are nuisances or burdens to Harry and company, pawns or targets to Voldemort. As a Christian is by definition a Muggle, the message to our children is :

    “Magic is fun, hip, exciting, and powerful; your old religion is dull, dumb, dorky, and dead.” Break the rules and win; disobey and be rewarded. Instead of being expelled from Hogwarts for disobeying Madam Hooch’s order not to fly on his broom, Harry is made Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch team. This sets a pattern for the whole series – repeated reinforcement of the principle The end justifies the means. Our heroes constantly gain victories, and even the approbation of authority, by bending rules and breaking laws.

  • John Laurence

    Not one but two Master’s degrees ‘sounds’ impressive and should command some sort of ‘respect’ I suppose, but bear in mind that the 12 Apostles that Jesus chose with whom to build His church were merely fishermen and the like. No Master’s degree(s) there! The 12 Apostles, like the millions of priests that followed them through the centuries had something far greater than a piece of paper with a degree, which anyone, by the way, can attain. These 12 men and all the ones that followed them over the past 2,000 years had (have) the powers that accompany Holy Orders which enable them to administer the sacraments. Along with those same powers come the many other gifts of discernment, wisdom, knowledge, etc. Those of us who are NOT priests should be ‘listening’ very carefully to the guidance that these good priests, like Fr Calloway and Fr Amorth have to offer us. The rest of us should know our place(s) and our limitations, no matter how many degrees, pieces of paper and/or experience we claim to have! Anyone looking for it…knows I speak the truth!

  • Kathleen Alexander

    Also, consider watching this episode of Women of Grace ~ Preserve and Protect: The Christian Response with guests Michael O’Brien and Susan Brinkmann
    http://www.lhla.org/tv-shows/10226-Preserve-and-Protect-The-Christian-Response.html

    Prayer for Enlightenment
    O Holy Ghost, divine Spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, my heart and my will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always obedient to Thy heavenly inspirations and the teachings of the holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbor; may my will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may my whole life be a faithful following of the life and virtues of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory for ever. Amen.