Wheelock’s Latin Grammar: just the mere mention of this book should send shivers down the spines of good Catholics everywhere. It’s a deceptive little book, trying to convince good, faithful Catholics into reading pagan literature which glorifies the evil pagan gods of Rome.
Good Christians died so they didn’t have to praise Jupiter or Pluto. Such worship, they believed, would jeopardize their very souls. And what do we have here? A book which an unsuspecting Catholic might use to teach themselves Latin. It convinces its adherents to write out long, detailed praises to the those gods which we all know were in reality bloodthirsty demons. Christians, the martyrs died so we could abandon the ways of pagan Rome, so why do you go back and fall for this blatant piece of pagan propaganda? If you question the seriousness of this, just look at what kinds of books are put next to it: Virgil’s Aeneid, Cicero’s On the Nature of the Gods, or Apuleius’ Golden Ass. Can any good come from a book associated with such evil? Of course not!
OK, I admit, this is more than a bit silly. But this is the kind of argumentation I have recently seen used to condemn the Harry Potter series by Fr. Euteneuer. He admits he has not read the series – but he is full of opinions about it. He knows it is an evil work of occult lore because people who have not read it have questions about it.
Let us look at a few things which he has said:
There is, among good Catholics, a general unease about the series, but the sense of disquiet is very, very difficult to define.
He begins by poisoning the well. If you are a good Catholic, you will follow through with a general unease with the Harry Potter series. This leads to suggest that those who do not hold this same reservation probably are not good Catholics. But since Fr. Fleedwood, whom the then Cardinal Ratzinger suggested should be contacted about the Harry Potter series, does not hold this same reservation about the books, one must wonder how good a Catholic he is. And one should then begin to wonder why Cardinal Ratzinger would suggest someone contact a person who just isn’t a good Catholic.
4100 pages of word images about magic and the occult are not harmless, even if they fit the literary genre of “fantasy.” Tolkein’s Lord of the RingsTrilogy amounts to 1216 pages of beautiful imagery, but relatively few of the pages are about magic, let alone imbued with magic. Indeed, Tolkein’s trilogy is a self-consciously mythical representation of reality in the light of the Christian faith, something Rowling can’t claim.
How can he know it is all about magic if he has not read the series? If he had, he would know this characterization is as false as it is absurd. Moreover, Rowling does claim she wrote her works to follow Christian themes. It would do well for someone who is as respected as Fr. Euteneuer to at least get his facts right before he sends people on an evangelical headhunt against Potter.
Fundamentally, Harry Potter indoctrinates young souls in the language and mechanics of the occult.
I will grant him this argument. The Harry Potter books do teach people about Latin and the Latin language, the language most often used by classical works of the occult (like Cornelius Agrippa). So the best solution is, of course, to stop people not only from reading the Potter series but also, and more specifically, any work which teaches the fundamentals of the Latin language (such as Wheelock’s Latin Grammar — er grimoire).
The fact that the fake curses and hexes are not able to be reproduced because the “ingredients” are pure fantasy is beside the point. Curses are not pure fantasy. The fact that “curse” as such, and other elements of witchcraft, are presented in a glorified state throughout the Harry Potter series means that our kids’ minds are being introduced to and imbued with occult imagery.
I hope young children do not read the Torah. Yahweh is full of curses, especially towards those He makes covenants with if they break that covenant. Who knew the Bible was so filled with the occult?
If Harry Potter is innocent fun, its literary spawn certainly are not. One trip to the Harry Potter section of a Borders bookstore (way before Halloween) gave me pause. Surrounding the Harry Potter rack in the children’s section of the store and in the front display were other titles that should raise the hair on the back of any parent’s neck. I recount just a few titles here: Dark Possession, The Wheel of Darkness, The Care and Feeding of Spirites [sic], The Night of the Soul Stealer, The Thief Queen’s Daughter, Blade of Fire, Secrets of Dripping Fang, My Father’s Dragon, The Dark Hills Divide, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Soul Eater, Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Vampirates Tide of Terror, Nightmare Academy, Enter the Portal to Monster and Mayhem, Lyra’s Oxford (authored by vicious anti-Catholic Phillip Pullman of “Golden Compass” and “His Dark Materials” fame)… and others.
Of course we know what is near the Bible in the religion section of a Borders bookshop: Drawing Down the Moon, The Satanic Witch, The Satanic Bible, et. al. I admit, I’ve heard we are not to judge a book by its cover, but I guess we are to judge it by what is found near it in a bookstore (see argument above).
I would have said nothing here and made no comment except for the fact that Fr. Euteneuer’s commentary apparently was sent out on Halloween, and has already been used as proof positive by many that Harry Potter is indeed evil. Just because someone who has not read the books has condemned them, I guess, should be good enough for all of us!