Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 10, 2001
WCR Letters to the Editor
Harry Potter blurs line between good and evil
In your article on Harry Potter, Nov. 26, Joan Zabelka, school librarian, says that we have been reading stories of the battle between good and evil for ages.
That is true, but good stories about good and evil have the sides clearly drawn. Good is clearly good. Evil is clearly evil.
Harry Potter blurs that distinction. He is a loyal friend, and non-vindictive. He seems so good, so sweet. He seems like one of the good guys.
And yet he is actively participating in sorcery, charms, and the casting of spells, which the Bible condemns as an abomination to the Lord (Deuteronomy 18:10-12).
The Catholic Church teaches that "one may not do evil so that good may result from it" (Catechism n. 1756).
Will children become involved in witchcraft after reading Harry Potter? Not necessarily. But they might very well believe that you can be involved in witchcraft, sorcery, and the casting of spells in order to do good. This is absolutely contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.
Are we teaching children that before they read Harry Potter?
Michael Burda says, "Harry Potter is a really good person. His character is really a good friend."
Mary Margaret Keaton, mother and catechist, says, "Harry Potter and his friends are moving toward heroic virtue." Not unless they renounce their involvement with sorcery.
You know, the devil himself has good qualities. As C.S. Lewis wrote: "The powers which enable evil to carry on are powers given it by goodness. All the things which enable a man to be effectively bad are in themselves good - resolution, cleverness, personableness."
Evil is taking the good qualities God has placed in us and twisting them - using them for wrong purposes.
The use of sorcery can never be a good thing, or accomplish a good thing.
Definitive view of Harry Potter
I read with interest the article on the Harry Potter phenomenon on the back page of the Nov. 26 WCR. For those readers interested in this controversy I would highly recommend the definitive essay by Michael O'Brien entitled Harry Potter and the Paganization of Children's Culture.
It can be accessed at www.lifesite.net and will make it very evident as to why it carries the title it does.
Sheep need to be informed when dealing with wolves
The Nov. 26 WCR was an absolute delight. I was inspired by a great majority of the articles and rejoice in the Holy Spirit who is tangibly guiding our bishop and by extension your paper. Thank you for the inspiration.
I would like to challenge and chide all Catholics who serve on parish/school councils and with the Knights of Columbus or the CWL. If you do not read current Catholic literature, how do you know what the pope and your local bishop are saying?
In Matthew 10:16, Christ tells us "I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." How can one pass legislation or approve anything without informed consent? I have witnessed decisions based more on what Harry Potter, Adrienne Clarkson or David Suzuki would do than on what the Church teaches.
To give you an example. There is an organization from which the Vatican withdrew its symbolic contribution in 1996. Should we as individual Catholics continue to support it?
Need more information? The Holy See denounced this institution for publishing a manual which recommends the distribution of abortifacients for refugees, promotes a program for the distribution of contraceptives and actively pressures countries to legalize abortion.
Should we as Catholics support this organization? This same organization is headed by a publicly radical pro-abortion senator from New York who has been confirmed as director for another term (until April 2005).
Needless to say when my seven-year-old son came home from our Catholic school with a box for donations with UNICEF written on the side, I was concerned.
I know he is as innocent as a dove (most of the time). He truly only wanted to help the poor children in Africa or Asia. He knows nothing of abortion and less of coercion.
What do I do when he empties out his piggy bank to save the poor children and puts his life savings into an organization that publicly stated "abortion is . . . one of the most effective means to combat poverty."
Please, in the name of the Trinity, Catholics on councils, read current Catholic literature. You can start by reading the WCR. If you are online then have zenit.org send you a weekly email, (free) informing you about statements issued from Rome.
Subscribe to Catholic Insight and The Interim and look up Lifesite.net. Learn something; offer something.
Thomas More stated that a gentleman is one who "puts things in order and governs them wisely." We must put things in order. We must become informed.
Buy a subscription for a friend, lend an issue to a council member, pray for humility to understand the teaching of the Church.
Mallett's music ministry spreads God's word
I would like to share with you the great pleasure that I had attending a Mark Mallet concert at our parish recently. A devout Catholic and an Edmontonian, Mark's music was really on fire with his love for God and his passion for his faith.
Myself and those around me felt proud to share this man's faith and his call to evangelize. It felt "cool" to be Catholic (my kids'words).
Children 10 and under were free so we filled our van up with the neighbours' kids. It was wonderful on the way home to hear their enthusiasm for the music and our "beautiful church. We immediately had a chance to do a little evangelizing.
If you haven't heard Mark yet, I would certainly recommend that you do. His ministry is a real gift to us all.
Zyp's articles lack Catholic content
In the last few issues of the WCR, there has been a lot of discussion on Hank Zyp's column, Just Desserts. There seems to be no middle ground here, and Mr. Zyp is viewed as either an anti-American zealot, or a courageous voice crying in the wilderness against the evils of American imperialism.
Neither of these viewpoints however, seem to address the central issue, which is the fact that since it is written devoid of any Catholic perspective, the column ends up as a dreary and tiresome litany of socialistic propaganda.
Let's get it straight; socialism is an ideology that falls far short of the Christian aspirations of social justice, and a nanny-state that robs its citizens through an unjust and burdensome system of taxation to ensure the equal distribution of material goods is totalitarian at best, denying as it does the right of possession of private property, as outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church itself.
Unbridled capitalism is no better a system than socialism, for its goals are unbridled greed and possession by the few. The ends of both systems are the same, however, and that is the enslavement of the population by demonic ideologies that deny both personal freedom and dignity, as well as our ultimate salvation through Jesus Christ.
It is only through a democratic system of free enterprise, tempered by a populace wholly disciplined by Catholic teachings of social justice, that we have any hope of ever bringing true justice to our world.
Fixating as he does on America as the perpetrator of untold evils - an accusation that I am sure has some measure of truth to it - Mr. Zyp seems to turn a blind eye on other such perpetrators throughout the world, such as China, which to this day occupies Mongolia, enslaves its own population, and commits atrocities that the abortionists in the West haven't yet dared commit themselves.
If Mr. Zyp would only take a good look around, he would realize that regimes the world over and since time immemorial have done no better and no worse than the Americans. This, in fact, is the nature of the world, which denies the salvation we can only obtain through faith in Christ, who will in the end subject all things to himself.
If Canadian Catholics are guilty of anything, it is that we have too often failed in helping transform the culture around us in the image of Christ, letting it instead transform us into the image of the world.
As Catholics, we are to lift one another up and bolster each other's faith in our struggle to bring Christ to the world. But I have never once read a single uplifting word in Mr. Zyp's column, ever.
If the WCR indeed prides itself on serving the interests of its readers, I would suggest that Mr. Zyp's column be replaced with something that actually has a little Catholic content to it.