Catholics and Harry Potter

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  • 0:00 - Introduction to panelists

  • 4:49 - Why this webinar?

  • 6:48 - Our views on Harry Potter

  • 8:40 - Harry Potter basics

  • 10:22 - Personal experiences with Harry Potter

Why Catholics should Read Harry Potter

  • 14:19 - Reason #1: Encourages virtues that are in short supply among children today

  • 17:39 - Reason #2: Offers reflections on important, but little-discussed topics that children deal with

  • 20:25 - Reason #3: Re-enchants our flattened-out, secular world

  • 23:59 - Reason #4: Series is deeply Biblical and loaded with Christian symbolism

  • 30:05 - Reason #5: Very pro-life, pro-family

  • 34:00 - Reason #6: Produces a huge surge in reading among children

  • 37:07 - Reason #7: Harry Potter is the shared text of our generation

Why Catholics should Not Read Harry Potter

  • 38:40 - Objection #1: Harry Potter promotes occult magic

  • 51:32 - Objection #2: The books glorify evil behavior

  • 55:42 - Objection #3: Pope Benedict XVI denounced the Harry Potter books

  • 1:05:31 - Objection #4: Several Catholic exorcists have criticized the books

  • 1:07:33 - Fr. Gabriele Amorth's criticism of the books

  • 1:13:40 - Fr. Chad Ripperger's criticism of the books

  • 1:40:39 - Objection #5: The Catholic novelist Michael O’Brien says the series is a kind of anti-Gospel

  • 1:50:25 - Objection #6: J.K. Rowling said Dumbledore is gay


  • 1:55:15 - Brandon Vogt's final remarks

  • 1:57:23 - Nancy Brown's final remarks

  • 1:58:25 - Julian Ahlquist's final remarks

Q&A Session

  • 2:00:51 - I wonder if those who are very critical of the Harry Potter series have read the whole series?

  • 2:02:13 - Can you supply a list of the resources, specifically the USCCB statements from the U.S. bishops that Julian is quoting?

  • 2:02:50 - Can you say more about how, in each book, there appears a helper that is a known image/metaphor for Christ?

  • 2:04:50 - Are the phoenix bird tears in Harry Potter similar to the Catholic Church's anointing of the sick?

  • 2:06:13 - Does it say anywhere in Catholic teaching that uttering or reading a spell without the intention to cast it could pose a spiritual danger?

  • 2:09:19 - How do you handle these books as a parent? At what ages should children read the books?

  • 2:12:10 - Can we draw any conclusions about the visions of deceased witches and wizards in the books?

  • 2:13:24 - Okay, even granting everything you've said, that there aren't good arguments that Harry Potter is intrinsically evil, why would we encourage kids to read this stuff when there are so many better books they could be reading instead?

Copyright © 2021 Brandon Vogt

Meet Your Hosts

Brandon Vogt

Founder of ClaritasU and Senior Publishing Director at Bishop Robert Barron's Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Author of seven books, including Why I Am Catholic (And You Should Be Too).

Nancy Brown

Author of The Mystery of Harry Potter: A Catholic Family Guide and The Woman Who Was Chesterton, the definitive biography of G.K. Chesterton's wife, Frances.

Julian Ahlquist

Founding faculty member of Chesterton Academy, where he teaches philosophy. Founder of