Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pope Benedict XVI
Not a Harry Potter fan
Must... burn... books... now! Yahhh! The devil! The devil!

If I were a gambler I’d bet you a gold sovereign that’s what they’re saying on EWTN, Steve Ray’s message board and other protty Novus Ordo places*.

Seriously, in his opinions the Roman Pontiff is as fallible as you are or I am.
Farm Street Jesuit: What if the Pope says it will rain and it doesn’t?

Rex Mottram (insincerely trying to convert so he can marry Lady Julia): Well, you see, Father, it would be raining but spiritually — we’re too sinful to see it.
- Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited (quoted from memory)

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Of course you can criticise and correct what’s wrong in the books when teaching your kids (as you should be doing) but they’re like folklore: kids like drama, stories that are scary and that they don’t completely understand (from tradition or from writers who don’t patronise them). An acquaintance, a university lecturer who specialises in this genre, says Joanna Rowlings’ books deserve to become classics if they pass the test of time.

After all, traditional fairy tales from the Holy Father’s native land are notoriously gruesome, teaching kids to push old ladies into ovens (connect that to the Holocaust and you could have a thesis and/or a generous grant) to get out of a jam and suchlike. I don’t think he’s about to denounce the Brothers Grimm.

*Thanks to Jim Cork for reminding me that these are usually the same people who ignore the Pope’s opposition to the war in Iraq, further giving themselves away as a subset/knockoff of the Protestant religious right.

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