Harry Potter and the Vigilant Vicar

Harry-Potter-Wizarding-Schools-Jk-Rowling

By Charlie Johnston

Fr. Daniel Rehill, pastor of St. Edward Parish in Nashville, Tennessee, is at the heart of a tempest in a teapot that has reached international proportions. His offense? Banning the Harry Potter book series in his Parish school after consulting with exorcists in the US and the Vatican. (Disclosure – I know Fr. Rehill and deeply admire his faith, fidelity and orthodoxy. He is one of those Priests I pray for by name each day – and has been on that list for the last four years)

Long-time readers know I am a fan of the Potter series. I think it will ultimately be ranked in the pantheon of great Christian fantasy-based allegory, alongside “Lord of the Rings” and the “Narnia” series. Fantasy that describes some of its magical beings as witches or wizards always triggers fears that they are darkly occult. Both the Lord of the Rings and the Narnia stories – along with the innocuous but entertaining Wizard of Oz series – had their time in the box when they were denounced as a satanic plot. It is entirely proper and prudent that it should be so. Much fantasy fiction IS subtly or overtly anti-Christian and DOES glorify actual occult practice. Better an excess of vigilance than a deficit thereof.

The movie series that followed the Potter books complicated the issue. In the movies, the issue was reduced to a battle over who would successfully seize the wand of power. It was a betrayal of the fundamental point of the books. In the books, the wand of power was shown to be ultimately irrelevant. It was “deep magic” that ultimately provided victory to the good guys. What, then, is deep magic in the books’ terms? Self-sacrificial love for your family and friends. I suspect that the last movie was Hollywood’s revenge for what Rowling did in the last book of the series. Subtle Christian themes that had run through the series were made completely overt in the last book, one of the most anticipated in publishing history. Hollywood could not abide that – the idea that self-sacrificial love of family and fellows is the most powerful “deep magic” in the universe, before which all schemes for power must ultimately collapse.

I am glad of this controversy as it allows me to expand a little on the proper exercise of authority and the proper practice of obedience. We worry far too much about who is right and, thus, should get their way in these perilous times. It would be far more productive to consider the duty of each of us, whether we exercise it legitimately, and whether we exercise prudence in coming to a conclusion.

Fr. Rehill has the responsibility to protect the children in his Parish school’s care. He also has the legitimate authority to make decisions to further that aim. The Church makes no comment on the series. Some like it, some don’t (and do not think those who like it are mainly dissidents; Cardinal George Pell has a take on the series almost identical to mine). Since he has not read the series, Rehill did exactly what a good leader should do: he consulted with people he trusted to get more information before making a decision. He took counsel.

Fr. Rehill said some exorcists told him the spells in the book are real. I don’t doubt they did. An exorcist Priest I met, horrified to find I admire the series, told me the same thing. I asked him for a specific example. He told me there over 60. I told him I didn’t need 60; a couple specific examples would suffice. He stared at me in irritation until I added, “You haven’t actually read the books, have you?” He walked away without another word.

I know something about real spells. I have been asked to quietly advise better authorities than me in a few dicey situations. The “spells” in the books are invariably one or two words of comically pidgin Latin. They don’t even vaguely resemble actual occult spells. If someone of real authority were ever to correct me with actual factual information, I would accept it. But I demand verifiable information. When God commands us not to bear false witness, that doesn’t just mean for our friends, but for all. So far, I have not been able to get any serious criticism, because all the people who have argued with me against the series have not actually read it -and get a lot of facts about it dead wrong. It has caused my respect for at least one exorcist to tank badly. (I should note that I have a completely different attitude for those who have not read it and are uncomfortable with the concept – and those who have not read it but pretend they have in order to denounce it. The former I respect; the latter I am offended by).

A Parish Priest must consider the best information he can get. Apart from the objective merit or lack thereof in the series, he must also consider the confidence of the faithful he is responsible for. If even exorcists are condemning it (without reading it), to have it on the shelves would cause many parents to wonder what criteria he is using and about the reliability of other materials on the shelves. Fr. Rehill has not endeavored to forbid private ownership of the books. If the series has the merit I attribute to it, time will prove it just as it did with Lord of the Rings and Narnia. If it has decisive flaws I have missed, it will fade away of its own accord in time. While there is doubt and controversy, nothing is lost by being cautious. Even with my attitude, I would not carry it on the shelves of a Catholic school at this time.

The larger issue though is the legitimacy of authority and the burden of responsibility. If everything is just a contest to prove who has got it right first, our foundation of order is a

Nashville - Fr. Dan and me
I stand with Fr. Dan!

perilous thing. On two occasions, my spiritual directors advised me not to read particular books – both of which were written by saints. They had good reasons (none of which were explained to me until after the bans were lifted) and I obeyed. Once, I ghost-wrote a very high-profile piece for an official that was very widely read. In the body of the piece, there was an issue on which I completely disagreed with the official about. Yet I made the very best case for the position he held that I could. I have a great respect for people who take the burden of responsibility for others and live it with fidelity. Even when I disagree with them, I endeavor to behave so that the issue rises or falls on its own merit and honor their fidelity by supporting them. A good man will change if it is ultimately called for. A bad man would only get enraged at contradiction. I believe in honoring, upholding and supporting the authority of those who take their responsibility seriously.

That is why, though we disagree on the merits, I stand fully with Fr. Rehill in his decision.

You know he is getting a lot of grief from the smarmy set. Maybe drop him a card thanking him for his fidelity to his duty to those he is responsible for. You can send a note to:

Rev. Daniel Rehill

St. Edward Church

188 Thompson Ln.

Nashville, TN 37210

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The preliminary hearing in Planned Parenthood’s criminal case against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt began Tuesday. Oops…I mean the California Atty. Gen’s criminal case against Daleiden. It will continue throughout the week and, perhaps, into next week. LifeSite News is providing the most consistent coverage of the hearings.

Finally, Daleiden is getting to cross examine abortion doctors and Planned Parenthood executives. Don’t be surprised if before all is said and done here, it comes out that Kamala Harris – then the Atty. Gen. (AG)of California – and now her successor, Xavier Becerra, colluded with Planned Parenthood (PP) to gin up charges against the pro-life activists. It is the same sort of scenario that tanked a prosecutorial effort in Houston, Texas a few years ago. Once again, the powers that be manufacture crimes to charge Christians and conservatives with while ignoring actual heinous crimes routinely committed by leftists. If the president and justice department do not act forcefully within the next few months to put an end to the two-tiered justice system that now reigns in America, we have some very ugly times ahead.

I encourage you to watch this hearing closely. It is starting to get the attention of some broader-based news sites, though nothing in the establishment media. It is not the trial, which would adjudicate guilt. Rather, this determines what, if any charges, the prosecution will be allowed to go forward with. I worry that both the AG and PP are trying to find a way to tank this before it goes to trial. With each day of testimony, both entities are digging themselves deeper under oath. I want as much testimony as we can get. A dismissal, at this stage, while it would make Daleiden’s life easier, is not what we want in order to lock in the criminality of the abortion industry and its eager political partners. This is the beginning of the fall of the culture of death. You are witnessing history in the making. For daily reports, go to LifeSite News. If anything really striking and consequential comes up, I will let you know.

*********

I hit the road again next week. Most of my stops will be out west, but I begin in the Midwest with a presentation in St. Paul, Minnesota. It will be at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 at the Shoreview Library, 4560 N. Victoria St. For information, contact Kris at asoh.stpaul@gmail.com.

For information on scheduling a visit, contact Mary Lapchak at lapchakma@gmail.com.

To keep abreast of the regularly updated schedule, click on the Menu icon at the top left of the site, then select “Travels With Charlie” from the dropdown menu that appears.

239 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Vigilant Vicar

  1. A wonderful piece, Charlie, which explicates ways to (another drum roll) judge righteous judgement! As we continue with this theme from days back at TNRS site, I’m getting an interior nudge – more like a thundering whisper – that judging righteous judgement will be a critical key to reclaiming the rule of law and a foundational part of rebuilding culture both in the Church and in societies.

    I am one who has held to caution about reading the Harry Potter series… but I’ve also been exposed to the examples you cite which many erroneously claim about the books. You know, this piece presents us all with opportunities to self-monitor our thinking, the sources from whence strongly held beliefs come and to be open to correcting misconceptions.

    Praise God for the developments in David’s current case! Praying that those working in court will surely and certainly gather as much testimony as possible which exposes the truth about crimes committed against the unborn. O Lord, through with and in your faithful servants, bring down the culture of death and raise up a culture of life!

    Liked by 14 people

            1. Hahaha ya think 😂😂😂 I love and pray for them all..I’m sure they all hate me, but I’ve learned it’s really not between they n me…..it’s etween me n God…Jesus please help us all down here..tnrs asoh

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  2. Charlie! Ha! You are inspiring me to re-think 2 beliefs I had had up to today; Harry Potter & vaping!!! Sort of apprra po 😄 I guess things aren’t always what they seem. Lol….Wouldn’t it have been something to be at that Wedding in Cana btw??? My meditation of the day….I wonder how many people knew just Who was in their midst..whoa🤗😇😘

    Liked by 4 people

    1. When my confirmation students ask me if its ok to have money and nice things, I always point them to the Marriage east of Cana. Jesus could have changed the water into sauerkraut and it would still have been a miracle, but he changed it into the best wine they had ever tasted. !

      Liked by 7 people

  3. We actually read the books to our first son before our conversion. One reason we stopped after our conversion and did not allow it was because the Harry Potter and his friends were disobedient to their authorities and they ended up being right for being disobedient. What does that teach young people. I also don’t like Diary of a Whimpy Kid for the same reason. I let my son read that book and he admits now as an adult that he got bad ideas of disobedience from that book.

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    1. That is a valid reason, Hildegard. Of course, it was mainly adventurous childish mischief that got into unexpectedly dire straits early on. Nonetheless, it is a valid criticism. I think the way the heroes in the series routinely sacrificed their own interests and even risked their lives to defend those they loved outweighed it – but a case can be made that by it all turning right in the end, it could make kids think they had more competence than they actually do and encourage them into taking on problems that are way too big for them. Of course, that criticism is valid for almost any child’s adventure series.

      I had some friends who had not read the books and were considering it for their kids. They got my take – but decided that they were going to hold off on allowing it until their kids were midway through high school. They, like you, were holding off for perfectly valid reasons.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. So then you add the occult to the disobedience, what does that give you? There are so many wounded people/children out there searching for help. Me being one when I was a child. It would have affected me and my imagination in a bad way. Kind of like the book Matilda. Her parents were evil and she got powers to do mean things to them. I just don’t think that is a Christian way. To someone who does not have cruel parents, they will not understand how these types of books can affect a child.

        I also read a book of a former Satan worshiper. Her story started in Jr. High, wounds led her to “white magic” to hurt the nuns that were hurting her verbally at school. Then it just snowballed from there.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Like I say, I understand concerns. BUT…while magic is involved, the occult is not. The Biblical definition of witchcraft is to consult with spiritual beings to obtain power. In the Potter books, as with the others I have mentioned, all the magical people (called witches and wizards) are born that way. One who is not born with magical abilities cannot develop them through “spells.” This is what is technically defined as magical creatures.

          You can use the sort of criteria you cite here, but to be consistent you must then refuse any sort of fantasy literature – including Lord of the Rings and Narnia. In the Potter books, the heroes routinely sacrifice their own well-being and advantage on behalf of each other. If a kid reads these books and ends up identifying with the villainous Voldemort, the same kid would identify with The White Witch in Narnia or Sauron in the Lord of the Rings. You have an entirely different problem in that case than what these books present – why the kid identifies with evil beings who lust for power rather than noble beings who live self-sacrificial love.

          I think it is perfectly legitimate for a parent to withhold such books from children out of concern that any presentation of magic in fantasy might trigger the sort of responses or obsessions you describe. But to be consistent, there must be a consistent ethic espoused.

          In any case, this article was not designed to deeply explore the merit or lack thereof, but to support a brave Pastor in the legitimate and reasonable exercise of his duty to those under his care.

          Liked by 10 people

          1. Well thank you so much for taking the time to explain this to me. I’ve never had it explained in this way. I just thought witchcraft was witchcraft and thought that in LOTR and Narnia, God gave them the gift to use as a power from him.

            Not trying to take it off topic. I will pray for this priest. But your post and comments have been pretty educational for me at least.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. I’m glad it was helpful…but I appreciate your vigilance, too. The danger of even the best fantasy literature is that kids can get more interested in the magic than in the heroic virtue. (When I was a kid, Superman was my thing. I spent countless hours experimenting and trying to devise a way to fly. Fortunately, I was prudent enough to experiment from shed roofs rather than cliffs or high buildings as a few disturbed kids did. My experiments were sometimes painful, but never – obviously – fatal.)

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              1. Our oldest son read every book (with parental help of course, alternating a page each) starting in 1st grade. He is actually a very independent and critical thinker because of it I believe, not to mention has always read above grade level…. I am mixed on what influence they had on him, as he went through a very liberal phase about 8th grade, even reading some of Marx’s Manifesto….. but we’ve always discussed the stories of any book or media with our kids to see what their take is on it – gently correcting them if they processed the information in a wrong way or not. Thankfully as he starts college he is getting more and more serious about his faith and seeing how crazy some of the liberal lines of thought are!

                You can basically choose your series and what message they have on the kids (or adults)… Marvel is huge with our younger kids right now, and we try to keep their focus on the attempt to do good and the hope they provide, but always remind them about the fantasy involved with “super powers” and that only God has the ability to do what they seem to do on screen. With phones today it is tougher to monitor what is influencing the kids via that route than the written word that can be consumed, thought about, and discussed as opposed to the next brightly flashing ad/story pops up on Twitter or Instagram…..

                For me personally, the book that I remember most from grade school was King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table…. I know now some of the stories with Sir Lancelot and Sir Tristram read more like Harliquin Novels…. but I do recall taking away wanting to be a Noble Knight or Paladin – have always wanted that… I guess the magic part of Merlin and the like didn’t stick with me as much as the want to be noble…. I am sure pros and cons for these tales could also be made. Coming from this want, I did truly enjoy TLOR and Narnia though… so there is that… 😉

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          2. Thanks for affirming the Harry Potter Books Charlie – I always loved them, as I saw them as allegories for the victory of good over evil. As to the Satanic and Occult – the books clearly bunk this form of “magic” as dark arts with Prof. Trewlawny (sp?) who taught it portrayed as a nut case Frankly, so many fairy tales involve magic – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the bean stalk, snow white etc etc. If you leave out magic then you pretty much leave out all the classic children’s stories. Even Narnia has elements of magic.

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        2. I Have Come To Understand That Though Many Of Us Were Not Raised In A Manner That God would like …somehow God is drawing good out of our evil backgrounds. We were misguided let’s say..we went astray..He called us back to help reclaim many many more. I think God has a plan here…that’s what I think anyhow…I could be wrong of course, but I think there’s a method to this madness 🤗😇😘

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    2. In Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain beautifully illustrates the courage required to rebuke illigetimate temporal authority and, taking the consequences upon himself, embraces Divine Authority.

      The passage is here: https://www.sparknotes.com/nofear/lit/huckleberry-finn/chapter-31/page_3/

      “It was a close place.
      I took it up, and held it in my hand.
      I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it.
      I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: It was a difficult situation. I thought about it a minute while I held my breath. And then I said to myself:

      “All right, then, I’ll GO to hell”—and tore it up.”

      Basically Huck was torn between temporal laws and eternal laws.

      Huck chose the Eternal while thinking it would cost him his soul.

      In making that choice, he, in ignorance, gained his soul and his brother’s freedom.

      Truly one of the greatest passages in all of Literature.

      And, of course, it is censored by those who hate Him.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. That passage is when I absolutely fell in love with Huck Finn, Timothy. And am horrified that modern students at universities are so ignorant they can’t appreciate – or even recognize – one of the most profound anti-slavery and anti-Jim Crow pieces of literature in our history. People who think that book is racist are bound to end up in the chains of tyranny unless wiser and nobler types protect them from themselves.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. I learned recently that Twain considered his book on Joan of Arc to be his most important book. The book is on my shelf and will be read in good time soI have not judged its merit yet.

          I mention it because you see the depth of his literature. and may be unaware the book exists

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Shoot, Timothy, you must read comments sporadically. The Twain book is always what I recommend for beginners in learning about the life of St. Joan. I have given away maybe a dozen copies over the years. The first time I read over 20 years ago I already knew St. Joan’s history pretty well – and was astonished at how accurate and entertaining the Twain book was. He spent a decade researching it.

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        2. Charlie, I (and my family members) never thought Huck Finn was racist; I just thought it was boring. Then again, I thought all fiction was boring as a kid (well, except for Louis L’Amour). Maybe I’ll try to reread Huck Finn; perhaps I’ll find it interesting as an adult.

          Regarding Harry Potter, although I disagree with your take, I do appreciate and respect it. I have not read any of the books and did not allow my kids to read them (more on that later). I based my decision upon articles written by people who had read the books, and who, as former practitioners of the occult, found the books to be dangerous to children’s souls as a general matter. Here is a thought-provoking article by one such person:

          https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?id=4624

          In the article, the author talks about having a “fingerprint” on the soul, a type of extreme sensitivity of the soul, because of her former participation in the occult. I know what she’s talking about: although I have never participated in the occult, or astrology, or anything like that, my great-grandmother did. Being half Cherokee, she was kind of a medicine woman; and being of African descent, she was also steeped in the dark arts that her ancestors brought with them from Africa. Anyhow, she was a truly evil woman who had a very negative influence on her descendants. Her son, my grandfather, eventually became a 33rd-degree Freemason. He had three daughters, my mother among them. My two aunts are both members of the Eastern Star. I’m not sure how involved my mother was with all that; but when she embraced Christianity when I was a small child, she stopped letting us watch TV shows like Bewitched and such, although she never explained why (I was maybe 7).

          Anyhow, growing up, I always had a special sensitivity to anything occult or demonically influenced–books, TV shows, music, artwork, you name it. When exposed to such things even for a few moments, I would almost always get this unmistakable and persistent sense of unsettling or even of revulsion in my soul, for lack of a better way to explain it. I can remember this from the age of, say, 9 or 10. Little kids aren’t really equipped to understand such things, and I thought that maybe I was losing my marbles. But the older I got, the more I came to understand that that spiritual sensitivity protected me from a lot of bad stuff to which I otherwise would have been oblivious.

          When Harry Potter came along, I got this same sort of sense about the books and the movies. Like I said, I never read the books; and I never saw the movies. But when I read the takes of former occultists such as Steve Wood (discussed in the link above), I understood for the first time that the spiritual sensitivity that I’ve had for my whole life is more than likely the result of a generational demonic influence because of my great-grandmother and my grandfather. I’m guessing that my grandmother’s involvement in the occult negatively influenced my grandfather such that the Freemasons, and the highest level of membership therein, appealed to him. The 33 degrees, and the curses he invoked on himself and on his descendants when he took each degree, have influenced his family for generations now.

          For some reason, the “fingerprint on my soul” doesn’t draw me to the occult as it does some people; rather, it gives me a revulsion to it (I also see this sensitivity in my two oldest children). But the influence particularly of the Freemasonic curses is real. I learned about these curses from Fr. Matthias Thelen, of Encounter Ministries notoriety, when he was our associate pastor 8 or so years ago. When were were talking one day and I happened to mention my granddfather’s Freemasonry (and also that my husband’s grandmother was at one time the highest ranking member of the Eastern Star in her home state), he very somberly told me that I needed to pray some prayers to generationally break the curses one by one. He went to his office and ran off copies of about 7 pages of prayers. Then he told me that I needed to pray the prayers for my family line, and that my husband needed to pray the prayers for his family line. I’ll be honest: when I first read over the prayers, which detailed each of the horrific curses, I was so shaken and scared that it took me a couple of months to work up the courage to actually pray the prayers; but pray them I did, and so did my husband.

          Lastly, I would like to tell you about a sweet little boy who was in my 2nd-grade CCD class when I was teaching at our parish in Illinois 13 or 14 years ago. Somehow we got to talking about Harry Potter in class. I can’t remember if he’d read one of the books (or had it read to him), or if he had just seen the movie (I remember that his stepdad had taken him to see it). Anyhow, he said to me with worry in his voice, “I can’t get spells out of my head; they keep going around and around in my head. What should I do?”

          I apologize that this comment is so long and rambling, but I thought I should toss my two-cent hat into the ring for consideration.

          Liked by 9 people

          1. Wow Mick. After reading your comment/thesis I realized how boring my grandparents really were. All four of my grandparents came from Croatia and from a poor farming background. They were all Catholic but not much is known about generations going even further back. So, I would be interested in knowing more about healing any unknown generational issues or curses just as a precaution. Any advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

            PS Please try to keep it short. 😉

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            1. I think you may have been in your decompression break time, BD, when the topic came up concerning the power of Masses offered for inter-generational healing. The Precious Blood poured out on our family lines is a might purifier. Here’s a prayer – written by Fr. John Hampsch – for healing of the family tree. Fr. Hampsch has done a lot of research on this topic and has written a book found here. Fr. Wang offers a Mass on every First Saturday for the healing of the family tree and people from throughout western Montana descend upon Missoula. There are always new reports of relief and blessings. In the Masses prayer is offered for the deceased and the living and specific prayers are said to break every kind of curse or bondage imaginable.

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          2. Mick, I appreciate your statement, but I actually did not see any specific spells mentioned in the article. She mentioned the sorting ceremony, which was certainly magical but did not involve a spell. I thought her take on how this differed from, say LOTR, was forced. She cites the young Voldemort casting a spell on a book to blind a young girl in Potter and says nothing like that happened in LOTR. Did she forget Wormtongue and Théoden? She says none of those in the LOTR ever cast spells or used magic on others. Gandolf did it frequently. She tries to interpret the making of magical potions into specific instances of spells. I could go on, but I would not offend you. It is just that the woman seems to ignore instances in LOTR that are nearly identical to those in Potter because she likes LOTR and dislikes Potter. That does not persuade me.

            Now as for the boy you mention, I can believe that. As I said earlier, when I was a boy I got briefly obsessed with being able to fly, even though the Superman comics made perfectly clear that people who were not from Krypton couldn’t. It is common for children to latch onto something that is just a part of the story, even if the story makes it clear it is not possible for them. That is why parental guidance is essential.

            I am perfectly content with people deciding it is not for them – or not for those under their care. I fully support those decisions. What I object to are efforts to make it “objectively evil” by arguments that just do not hold up under examination.

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            1. Charlie, thank you for your thoughtful reply. Also, I forgot to mention that I greatly appreciate your support of Father Rehill. I can’t imagine having the kind of responsibility that he has for souls. (I mean, I also have responsibility for souls; but there are only 7 in my immediate orbit.)

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              1. I appreciate that, Mick. I completely respect parents’ sensibilities on these things – and that of those charged with protecting youth. The ironic thing is that I would not have them on the shelves if I ran an elementary school, either, even though I hold them in esteem. There are certain things that, if doubtful at all, should be left to a parent’s discretion, particularly with elementary school students. More than anything else, the thing that bothered me was the general contempt in which legitimate authority is held, particularly when exercised by an obviously honorable man.

                I just don’t understand why treating each other with respect and deference in each other’s legitimate areas of authority and responsibility has become so hard for people. I hate that everything has become a pathetic – and vicious – contest for dominance. I am so glad that we have some courageous and honorable guardians who take their duty seriously – and it does not bother me a whit that sometimes their decisions are not the same as mine, only that they are honorable and serious. We do, indeed, have a lot of wood to chop before all is well again.

                Ah, but I was heartened to get such a gentle reply from you, for I hold you so dear. The bright, bubbly joy of life that thrums through you always heartens me – and I would not offend you for the world.

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Charlie. I’m not often at a loss for words, but I am now. All I can say is how much I respect you, and how highly I value and how greatly I cherish our friendship. 🙂

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                2. This is thought provoking (though I imagine you’re not all that perplexed why it is actually so):

                  “I just don’t understand why treating each other with respect and deference in each other’s legitimate areas of authority and responsibility has become so hard for people.”

                  B had earlier offered a thought provoking nugget about restoring family… family roles, particularly mothers and fathers, as God intended (but I was wandering the halls here in search of it and couldn’t locate it, thus paraphrasing and probably mangling it).

                  Had me pondering the core community –– family. Mom as the heart of the family, dad as the head. My folks only kept good reading material at the house, but if a kid wanted to independently research a topic, the kid hoofed it over to the library.

                  On a good day, that delightful librarian was behind the desk, the one who truly appreciated the youth, smiling and mostly asking questions as she/he guided you to the appropriate and best material on the subject. On a bad day, the grumpy librarian… so a kid fled in terror, basically on their own to hunt through the dusty halls of material.

                  Today, the internet. A great tool with a ton of information at our fingertips. The downside? That ton of information at our fingertips (so much of it nonsense), leads too many folks to believe they’re suddenly geniuses.

                  Real genius is a gift from God. The path for most folks is a ton of hard work. Either way, hard work.

                  Folks have gotten lazy.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ha! I have occasionally offended someone by calling them a “google intellectual.” It is to erudition what a foreign language dictionary is to fluency: you may persuade yourself you are a genius – at least until you bump into someone who has actually done the work to speak the language fluently – and then you reveal what a bumpkin you truly are.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. Love the term “Google intellect” as it is a fitting description of so many these days. I have watched Wikipedia several times changed/edited – scrubbed/rewritten in real time enough to know better than to rely on such sources for data. A neighbor recently was giving away a complete 1970 World Book encyclopedia set and we took them off of her hands. She inquired, “May I ask, what are you going to do with them?” I reminisced about doing homework and studies at the library after school growing up. I told her I plan on reading and referencing them, like I had in days of yore. ❤

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                    2. Jen, I would LOVE to get my hands on a set of World Book encyclopedias. My parents had a set for us kids; I used to read them for fun as a kid. (I also read the dictionary for fun… I was a strange child.) I’ll have to check at the local Goodwill; I saw a set there several months ago.

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                    3. 🙂 I have several unabridged dictionaries too. I am not much of a reader, my sister inherited most of our dear mother’s great attributes, but I love learning. For term papers that had a minimum word or page count, Encyclopedia Britannica was my go to reference book. I loved World Book for the illustrations. Fond memories. A nickel could buy you an 8″ x 14″ legal sized double page copy. More times than not I’d forget to select the correct *paper drawer* and would get the 8.5″ x 11″ letter sized copy in error and would end up paying twice. ❤

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          3. Thank you Mick!!!

            I relate to a degree. I have that same sensitivity to a degree- it is a shock or repulsion when presented with occult things.

            Can you direct me to those prayers? My Great Grandfather 33 Mason, my husbands grandfather and grandmother( Eastern Star), my brother is a mason.

            My mother warned against it. It isn’t just a fraternity!

            Thanks!

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Littleone, I searched through my paper files of stuff and found the copy of the prayers that Father Thelen gave to me years ago. I compared them to the version of the prayers found on Father Chad Ripperger’s site:

              http://www.sensustraditionis.org/Freemasonic.pdf

              The two versions are similar, but not identical. I actually like Fr.Ripperger’s version better because it’s more complete (for example,it asks for the intercession of the Blessed Mother and also contains references to the Catholic Church and the Holy Eucharist). Also, the order of the prayers is slightly different. I don’t have a clue if the order of the prayers would matter, though (if any priests here at ASOH would like to chime in, I’d appreciate hearing your take).

              Because the Fr. Ripperger version of the prayers is more complete than the one I said, I think I’ll pray them again using his version; and I will ask my husband to please do the same.

              Liked by 2 people

  4. I have read the Harry Potter series and a book comparing it to Catholic teaching, which I can’t recall the name of. I think reading them should be encouraged as long as you have a parent or teacher who explains the similarities between them and Christianity. I am currently reading the Narnia series to my grandkids, ages 4 and 5, and explain those similarities and they ‘get’ them. Their parents are reading the Harry Potter series to them and I am sure they get that good does triumph always in the end. I also can’t understand why The Poem of the Man God was ever put on the banned books list. Pope Benedict stated, when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, that we can read them, but not to consider them supernatural. If you look at the author’s history you would wonder how they could be anything but supernatural. Mary has also stated that we can (should?) read them when asked by a Medjugorje visionary.

    Liked by 8 people

  5. I am happy to read this article. I have been very reserved about Harry Potter…I will be less judgemental and also respect this priest .. in a time of confusion we often rely on those who should be a guide, like exorcist priests-yet even they can be misinformed in their guidance. Maranatha ! Thank you Beckie and Charlie.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Not a Harry Potter fan; Tolkien all the way! But a criticism I have heard from fellow homeschooling moms regarding Harry Potter was the sexual relationship between the teens, (I am paraphrasing them.) I know that in Tolkien’s works, the women are always held in the highest and deepest esteem and the men who love them would never wish to soil them before being lawfully bound in marriage and go to great lengths to prove themselves worthy of that love. To my mind, perfect chivalry. Is this a valid criticism? If it is, then that would be the major reason I would also advise teenagers not to read Rowlings.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And there’s that poignant line in the second book, when Harry comes across a unicorn that’s been killed by Voldemort in the forest: “You have slain something so pure and innocent to save yourself, you will have but a half-life, a cursed life, from the moment the blood touches your lips.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Funny, Sheryl, I loved getting to the last book where all the Christian themes woven into the series became completely overt. Yet I hated the last movie, where all those themes were betrayed. The line you cite was when I first began to suspect that there might be more going on here than childish adventure. I sometimes think that it is the devil who works most assiduously to suppress it because it is such a mirror for the challenges we face in these times.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. When I was in grade school, I read a lot of fantasy. Seeing as that was 50 years ago… it was clean and lacking any political agenda. A favorite was the Prydain chronicles, which taught heroism in the little things and the value of friendship, from a world of Welsh mythology, none of which was overtly Christian. But it opened my mind to the possibility that some powers aren’t empirically observable. It was a placeholder until I experienced Christ in adulthood. Good fantasy literature does that. Not entirely sure Harry Potter is in that category but maybe it is what it needed to be for this generation. The foundational truth in the whole series is that love sacrifices itself for the beloved, at great cost. That’s a Christian theme if I ever heard one.

        Liked by 6 people

      2. Charlie, it sounds like you’ve seen all of the movies as well? They are all entertaining for sure…. so, which is your favorite movie (and which book)?? We lean toward HP and the Half-Blood Prince for both… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The final book is my favorite. The final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort is the most intense and dramatic of any I have ever read. But it really is the series arc which fascinated. I like all the movies but the last – which, as I have written – is a betrayal of the fundamental point of the series.

          I have watched author J.K. Rowling since – and she is rather pathetic. She had one great series in her, became a subpar writer after that and has attempted to make up for it by becoming a loony lefty.

          Liked by 3 people

  8. Interesting post. Kids are grown here, so haven’t thought of this series in quite some time. No initial thoughts on the matter as I endeavor to ponder my way to the heart of the matter.

    Maybe just one thought: with all that fantastical array of magical creatures, you figure she could’ve worked a leprechaun in there somewhere. That’a shook things up. That, and I did have a brief scene flash through my head featuring the sorting hat and a young Charlie Johnston.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I stand corrected. That it was apparently a bit part, is kind of disappointing though. I did an extensive paper on the wee fella in grade school and find him to be one of the most iconic characters among the imaginary wee folk. Don’t tell this to my beloved Fighting Irish, but you and other Tide fans might get a kick out of this: leprechauns, being solitary, wear red. Not green.

        Liked by 4 people

          1. Well, don’t tell that to the elitists of that imaginary realm. The trooping fairies wear the green and are known to be snobbish about it. Enter the solitary cobbler to rattle some cages. Oh, he’s a piece of work sometimes… but I love the puckishness.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Ha, Phillip! Your comment reminded me of heart warming YT videos I love to watch of people who are colorblind seeing for the first time with special glasses. We take so much for granted. I pray that we all *see* with new eyes similarly.

            Garrett (16) is overwhelmed with his gift of colorblind glasses & seeing… https://youtu.be/gtXupaEdpuw

            Liked by 1 person

  9. FWIW I never cared much for Harry Potter. It had nothing to do with any occult inferences or spells. I just thought it was a dumb story line. Personal taste or lack of taste, I remain a humble servant of ASOH/TNRS. 😉

    BD

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I thought so, too, in the early books – which I read because my then teenage son was reading them. I concluded they were innocuous childish fantasy, but I was watching lest something dangerous creep in. It was the third book where I first picked up hints that this might be something more…and then the fourth book absolutely snapped my head that this was turning into a profound epic saga of good versus evil. I actually admired the unintentional literary device inherent in this, In the first books, the author was often stilted and clumsy – just like the kids. With each new book, the literary merit grew, along with the kids – through adolescence and into young adulthood.

      Liked by 7 people

  10. Hi Charlie,

    I have read the Harry Potter series with my children. I am sorry to say. Two years ago I heard a talk given by a very well known exorcist who instructed the audience to get rid of their Potter books because the spells are real And he knew an exorcist who had to perform exorcisms on three children who read the books. Sometimes God allows things to happen to bring attention to a problem. He has been protecting most from these books, but if Satan is involved then they must be set aside. There are other seemingly innocuous things out there too, like Pokémon. We must be vigilant and careful.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know that some exorcists say that, because I have had one say it to me. He folded immediately when challenged by me to cite even a single example. It is not just or right to make this assertion without citing a single example. I know about such things because I have experience, both in dealing with actual real spells and with reading the comical things in the Potter series.

      I suspect a single exorcist made this assertion, thinking he was doing good by making up evidence against a set of books he didn’t like. Now, a bunch follow his lead without checking it themselves. When I was Church-hopping before I came to Catholicism, this was the sort of thing that helped me weed out a lot of denominations. I would politely ask an inconvenient question or two about assertions – and when the preacher involved huffed at my temerity for asking such questions that was my signal to move on.

      Now you say you have read the series. You, then, can give me an example of a real spell, I presume. Fire away. If not, please quit bearing false witness about something just because it is not to your liking or triggers unease in you.

      Liked by 4 people

        1. Again, Mick, the things she claims are “real” spells cannot be duplicated by anyone, so they are not a training series. Generically making potions, describing magical ceremonies, none of these things give any instruction on how to make a real spell.

          Understand, I am not the least bit indifferent to actual occult practices. They are deadly dangerous. Ouija board are horrific – but most serious Christians know that. I am horrified by the easy acceptance that yoga is met with, even by most practicing Christians. Those yoga “positions” are actually prayers to strange gods – and invitations to dark forces. The thing is, I try to examine each of these things on their own merits.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. I’m with you, Charlie… I’ve never understood how so many practicing Christians, and even devout Catholics, have gotten roped into a devotion to yoga. And ouija boards–I shudder simply at the thought of them.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. In the early 1970’s my parents gave my siblings and I a ouija board. We had it a short time and one evening mom and dad alone were at the board and my mother asked a question that my father did not know the answer to. The board answered it correctly and my mother threw it out in the trash can in the alley outside of the house. Then she told us what she had done and why. She wanted nothing to do with the dark nature of that *game*. Of course we, being junior high school aged, only wanted to have it more since it was verboten. I think we even sought to retrieve it, unsuccessfully. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

        2. ❤️❤️❤️

          Thank you Mick!!!
          This article is exactly what I have been wanting/needing… I am wary about the books for all the reasons presented in the article. A major point for me is that children don’t have formed discernment. We have to discern for them.

          My son did read these books. He knows I am not overly fond of them because Ive told him that there is no white or good magic. It comes from evil and it says so in the bible. I see it as a gateway for unsuspecting children/young adults.

          I actually stood in a bookstore where the HP series was located. There were spells books close by, I noticed. I watched as a person look at the books and ultimately took the spells books. Not sure if she took HP too. But they were all together. Barnes and Noble.

          I remember because I was praying she would walk away. I am a minority among folks when it comes to HP.

          I don’t think most people have that great a discernment. Especially if they are wounded. There are a lot of wounded souls out there who are not able to discern as well.

          My two cents

          Like

  11. I was introduced to the books when my wife started reading book 4 (Goblet of Fire) to the kids before the movies came out. I thought that the books were a great story of good vs evil and (spoiler alert!) thought the last book was great in the way Harry mimics Christ in laying down his life. I’ve seen many exorsists quoted about the spells but I agree with you Charlie, the spells are always a poor Latin translation of whatever the spell is supposed to do, though I have no knowlegde of real witches/witchcraft (or how good their latin is) .
    I didn’t like any of the films, which hardly touched any of the entertaining subplots of the books and, as Charlie has said, betrayed the overall themes of good and self-sacrificial love that are in the books.
    I still remember my daughter’s disappointment after seeing the 1st movie! “His eyes weren’t even green” she told me, then went on to list all the things that had been left out (In the book Harry’s eyes are green as are my daughter’s, but the actor’s are blue).

    Liked by 7 people

  12. Charlie, I’ve been thinking about this Harry Potter thing ever since you put this piece up…lol..hour of adoration and 50 laps in a pool…hahaha..for my lungs, ya know…anyhoo..I’ve always preached against Harry Potter but like u said..ive never read them…I think you think more like God than we do. You’ve seen more. We are yet in school anD thank you for opening our eyes to the mind of Christ. Christ loves each and every one of us. We don’t get that yet, I think…this phase you wrote really made me think: “When God commands us not to bear false witness, that doesn’t just mean for our friends, but for all…” Oh I hope some day to get it just a smidgen of what you do. God bless you, Charlie, for helping us all to stretch for our hands to the mind of God🤗😇😘 TNRS ASOH

    Liked by 2 people

      1. So, I have discovered that my middle son (14, in eighth grade) feels he is having or wants to pursue same sex attraction. I am struggling as I know what our church is going through and the stigma associated with so much evil in it because of the choices of the men behind it…

        I am asking for payers so that the Holy Spirit can guide my words and heart in the matter. I have other teens, so I already pray for them regularly for a strong faith and a chase life…and I know this is the same but with a slight twist.

        I can’t help but to think with all of the pride parades, flags, media coverage, and societal acceptance that these things have had a role in this whole thing despite efforts to dissuade them taking hold or frank conversation on how God’s divine plan isn’t being followed.

        I’ve prayed the Prayer of Miraculous Trust on the matter, and I feel compelled for more prayer on it… so I just ask that prayers for Isaac (and his dad 😉 ) on discerning his faith and life at this young age yet.

        Any advice from parents who have done the same? Beckita or Steve, if this should be moved to another thread, please do so…

        Thanks and God bless!
        Bill

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you, Bill, for trusting us and bringing your family situation to our prayers. We wouldn’t turn you away for anything in the world. Absolutely praying for your dear son Isaac, for you, your wife and your whole family. Surely we can discuss this here if people have experience and wisdom they wish to offer. I’ve also sent an email to ask if I can share your email contact (if you also agree) with this incredible man and his incredible wife who have faced the same challenge, that you might be able to explore the issues more deeply with a father who – with his wife – have done a ton of work in this area and are brimming with love, wisdom, compassion and a LOT of helpful knowledge and information for navigating waters such as these. I agree that the widespread saturation of the Pride ideology into our culture has a deadly role in harming our children. God bless you, Bill.

          Liked by 3 people

  13. I haven’t read Charlie’s article yet, but I want to point out, looking at the pic at the top of the article, how important the Medieval has become in expressing the deep truths.

    Ok, now to read Charlie’s article…

    (:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ok, read the Potter part.

      Dang it Charlie!

      Now I will have to buy the books!
      Every christian comment on HP I have read says “stay away”

      Thank you. I trust your judgement. I will let you know if I think you got it wrong.

      Two related subtopics: authority, censorship.

      On authority you wrote spot-on.

      Within many different spheres we submit to authorities we voluntary asked to join, or were born into, or married into or were granted admission to and even when they are wrong, we obey within the larger boundaries of God’s province. TL;DR; we voluntarily submit to authority.

      Authorities are not omniscient.

      Your principle of stating your authority’s argument correctly before stating your objection is of the highest order. This is what our Republic should be made of. This is what Marriage is made of. This is what Parenthood is made of (with many complications…(: ).

      On censorship:
      It is not whether censorship exists, but who censors.

      In Hell the name of Jesus is censored.
      In America on YouTube or Facebook or Twitter, if you do not serve the gods and demiurges of this age you will be censored.

      In the Basillica of Saint Lawrence the “reverential quiet” sign at the entrance censors a lot; and thank GOD for it!
      As children of our Lord, in our Sanctification, we censor ourselves; Veil Of Veronica has a post or two on her post partum attacks and her self censorship of things that where not of her nor our Lord.
      Furthermore….I have not read up on it, but the Catholic Doctrine of censorship—you (we) have an imprint that is placed on non-censored books.

      Censorship is guidance to good or ill.

      The “Enlightenment” attempted to (? or lied?) remove the principle of guidance and instead installed their own.

      And I still haven’t read the entirety of your post!

      Thank you for your work.

      God bless.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thanks Timothy. I look forward to hearing your review. I have tried to engage in informed discussion on this topic privately many times. Many assert they have read the books, but when I start trying to discuss details or problematic areas, it rapidly becomes clear they have no clue what I am talking about and that they have NOT read the books. Everyone who has condemned them to me, it turns out, has NOT read them but bases their claim on what they have heard or some erroneous info others gave. Everyone who clears the hurdle of showing enough familiarity with them to credibly show they have read the actual material has a positive view – though I have had a couple say they would hold it from their children until later.

        The process is ubiquitous enough that I sometimes think the satan whipped up this furor in order to trick otherwise faithful Christians into bearing false witness. I really would welcome an informed critical analysis…and I have been disappointed a few times to have people I respect smear it only to prove to me, moments later, that they had not read it at all. It is depressing and makes me think that people have no clue how tricky navigating the storm really is.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. Charlie, this comment – particularly your closing paragraph – says it all for me as to why this was a thoroughly apropos topic right now. Some might say it stirred up a hornets nest of comments. Our responses are revealing much about each of us and our ways of thinking/processing what is happening around us… and I say this with the best of intent.

          This current discussion also reminds me of something I tried looking for not long ago: some of the quotes I kept from a piece you wrote at TNRS which launched us into discussions of how many of the decisions we will have to make in the thick of the Storm will have options comprised of choices we would never take in ordinary, unstressed times. I must go re-research for some of that dialogue.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You hit the nail on the head, Beckita. We often think if we attack what seems “bad” and support what seems “good” we will be on solid ground. I insist that if I bear false witness even against Hitler I will be called to account. Judge righteous judgment is a serious command that is not taken seriously enough, I think. The bad will be judge on its own merits without adding to it on our part. I endeavor to mentally prepare people to carefully and prudently choose that next right step. Formulaic means will cause us to founder.

            Liked by 4 people

            1. Amen, Charlie. These all important wise words ought to be etched in stone or at lest designed into a meme for the masses, myself included at times. 😉
              Unrighteous indignation is spreading like wild-fire.

              Liked by 2 people

            2. Hi Charlie, I thought of you last night while reading the Bible. I was thinking you didn’t base your term ‘judge righteous judgement’ on a particular scripture, but this one comes really close!
              “Do not judge superficially, but be just in your judgments.” John 7:24
              The context was at the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus initially wasn’t going to go because he knew the Jews were seeking to kill him, then went up in secret, then 1/2 way through “went up to the temple and began to teach”. He challenged them for their reliance on the law of Moses (in hopes of killing him for healing on the Sabbath) while breaking it (to perform circumcisions on the Sabbath) if I’ve understood. “…so why are you indignant with me for giving health on the sabbath to the whole of a man’s body?”

              Like

              1. You got it, Naisy. In fact, within the differing translations of the Bible, it’s John 7:24 in the King James version (which Charlie has said he loves for its poetic nature) that translates exactly like this: “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

                Like

      2. Oh I know what you mean Timothy. .all through 6 through 12 homeschooling my boys, I forbade Harry Potter..when all shtf they all read hp and LOVED hp..my sister, cindy, whom I love deeply goes bananas over hp and I always tell her hp is evil..no wonder she hates me..lol..now I’m for surr gonna find out for myself like Chatlie says and order my first hp..to err is human. To forgive (even oneself) is divine. I feel bad for jk Rowlings though if this thing pans out towards her neck of woods..mea copa,😩

        Liked by 1 person

          1. A gracious man you are, Timothy. The book study line was a stroke of lighthearted play. 🥳 I’m expecting a copy of Cardinal Sarah’s finale in his latest trilogy any day now and it will take precedence in my reading pile but I’ll enjoy catching up with HP as a fun aside. God bless you, Timothy, your family, your work, and all your mini pilgrimages to that magnificent basilica near you. 😄

            Liked by 3 people

              1. Yes, Timothy. Read one, add three. Although I like holding a book in my hand, one doesn’t have to take time to dust the stacks of electronic books on kindle or iPad. It also frees up a lot of shelf space for statues and icons (and 2016 World Series mementos, but I digress). God bless.

                Liked by 2 people

  14. A couple of more thoughts… i use to have parents ask if the Harry Potter series was good to read and I said it was good. I told them Harry was a Christ like figure by offering himself for the love of his friends etc. But that is the trick… Demons love it when Christian children read Harry Potter and open doors to them by reading real spells. Witches have confirmed the spells are real. It is not about the story, it is about opening doors to things that should not be welcomed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, I have worked in this area. There are no real spells in this book. Give me a single example. If you say an exorcist told you, I believe you – for I had one wrongly tell me that, and then get angry when I dared challenge him and he could not back up his claim with a single example. When you say they are real, you repeat the smears.

      Now I will not have another comment that makes this assertion without an example, because I will not have my site bearing false witness, thinking that doing so accomplishes good.

      Liked by 5 people

  15. Hm. Long (or short) day. However you want to look at it.

    I’d put up 1 Timothy 4 here in it’s entirety because I think it speaks quite clearly to some (if not all) of the matters at hand, but I just mention it for brevity sake. Even then, I suspect some would differ on opinion regarding those words from Sacred Scripture… some differing greatly on the meaning and how it’s applied. Not what God intended, but there it is.

    Have we abandoned the Faith? Do we listen to deceiving spirits? Nope. Nope.

    Personally, I don’t see phantasms everywhere, nor worry about what boogeyman may be round the next corner.

    Do we trust in Him? Maybe to the degree we struggle with these things in thought, word, and/or deed, we ought to focus on the trust issue.

    I love a good story.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. When I was writing for a large secular publication in Illinois, I made the statement (uncontroversial among professional historians) that Nazi Germany was the only modern functionally pagan state. (Alas, that is no longer the case). Some Wiccans and such were furious – and they set up a night where they were going to hold ceremonies in three states casting a curse on me – and they wrote to tell me. I chuckled and told them to cast away. My Boss is stronger than their boss – so they should take care that the spells didn’t redound against them.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. If I didn’t know you better, I’d say you’ve got a bit o’ mischievous leprechaun in you… what with flouting the wiccans… and the red shirt and all. Yeah, I like your style, but I really respect the Trust. Good example as always.

        Liked by 4 people

  16. I do understand that there can be times when it is wise to take precautions, to hold off on allowing something until it can be properly evaluated or people educated. I don’t have kids myself, but having been a child once long ago, I can look back and see the good of being told by my parents that I was too young for certain things. So I’m sympathetic to Fr Rehill’s position as a first step.

    However, it seems to me that the better approach for Fr Rehill would have been to read the books himself and judge righteous judgment on his own part. Consultation without direct study is never as good as studying something directly and then engaging in discussion.

    The first book came out in 1997. The series has been a huge public phenomenon for over two decades. They’ve been controversial for that long. After 20 years of apparently ignoring the situation, he would have incurred no more of a problem than he already faced by waiting a few weeks and reading them himself. Once done with his reading, he could judge for himself or at least be a knowledgeable participant in the debate.

    My personal opinion is that he took the lazy way out and missed an important teaching moment. If he had studied the books himself and felt that it was a legitimate series, he should have stated so and started a large public discussion about why. His parishioners would have learned what is true to Christianity, found out more about what to watch out for in other situations where the occult may arise, and have a better chance to evaluate the usefulness of the opinions of others. All of these are benefits now lost.

    Instead, he asked other people what he should think and do, found controversy, and without verifying anything from the source, encouraged people, through his actions, to see the books as potentially occult. He has unnecessarily, even unjustly, cast aspersions on the books and their author, confirming mistaken impressions about them and, worse, confirmed to others the opinions of those like the exorcist you have called out here.

    So, although I understand what he did and can see why he did it, I think he failed to follow the best path available to him, and his parishioners are now less well equipped to judge righteous judgment themselves than they could have been.

    Besides, he missed enjoying a good story. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, I do sympathize with him, Steve. I read maybe a 10th of the books others recommend to me. I have little time to read everything someone wants my take on. When people have responsibilities in an organization, they HAVE to take the counsel of others because they just can’t evaluate everything directly themselves – or they would have no time for anything else. Of course, it is always best to be able to use your own experience. But man, I was called on a lot to read stuff for a client and make a recommendation. I took care to describe it as honestly as I could, give the up sides, the downsides, and why I came to my recommendation. And sometimes, because of my rank, both my client and I had to rely on lower level people to make recommendations to us. I pray the example I set helped make subordinates as dutiful as I was. But sometimes we HAD to take outside counsel…and sometimes we got burned. It is a peril of leadership and responsibility.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Charlie, I do get all that you say. I don’t read a lot of books others recommend to me. I regularly delegate work to others. However, these are books that have reached literally hundreds of millions of people and are extremely high visibility in cultures worldwide. You have stated yourself that the series could be recognized eventually as being as worthy as the Lord of the Rings and as influential. Fr Rehill should have recognized the more general interest and seriousness of the question before him and read at least one of the books. This is a teaching moment blown, in my opinion. Further, his statement is being circulated far more widely than just in his schools, as was inevitable given the subject matter, opening the Church to at least some ridicule and rejection as being silly and uninformed. I get why he handled it the way he did. I get why you are supporting him and explaining his actions to us. None of that changes the fact that I just think he missed a better path and failed to recognize the true opportunity for leadership that he could have reached for. In my experience it is rare to find a situation where *all* of the interests of all of the institutions and almost all of the people involved in that situation could have been brought cleanly into full alignment by a couple days of reading, the same amount of now-better-informed consultations, and a properly thought out position paper that would truly educate its readers. I obviously don’t and can’t know all the aspects of his situation, but to my eyes his action looks like a technically correct failure of vision. He allowed his legitimate bureaucratic responsibilities to prevent him from grasping (in both senses of that word) an opportunity for leadership.

        Fortunately, the opportunity is not lost forever. He can still revisit the issue and invest the time and effort to do this right. I hope and pray that he does, even as I believe it will now take him more time and more effort than if he had done it right the first time.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I can’t fault Fr Rehill either, having been in leadership roles myself, I’m agree with Charlie on the perils of leadership….but you are right Steve, he did miss enjoying a good story.
      Another positive point I would like to bring up is that it was a great family activity, to have my wife or myself read these books with the kids while drinking hot chocoalate, or snacking on something delicious. I and my now adult kids have many fond memories from reading the Potter series together.
      My daughter who got me into these books has taken a hard left since going to college and university and while I can’t seem to have conversations about catholicism, or Jesus (or Trump, politics, etc) I can always bring up a Harry Potter to talk about a moral good without walls going up.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. Dearest Charlie. Mike and I are sure wishing you well on your upcoming trip. How our hearts sadden that we won’t be together this time 😭 but mike and I uphold you in prayer and sacrifice. ..go change the world, Charlie. ..go show them the Christ who resides within you. ..we will uphold, strengthen and suffer with/for you🤗😇😘 we love you, Charlie..keep on keeping on 👆👆👆

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  18. The Potter witches don’t hold a candle to the real one I had to deal with when I lived in Mexico City. Not even close. Many times I have laughed at gross water closet facilities because I was thinking what a public service it would be to make one of those waterproof fires in the receptacle. At the Minnesota State Fair this year a vendor was displaying a waterfall complete with flames on the water surface (propane gas tank underneath his display sent gas bubbles up thru the water). Because I read the books I avoided the movies because I wanted to keep my images of the books.

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  19. I never read the Potter books, but very much enjoyed the first few movies. They were delightful and magical, and the special effects were REALLY well done. And I believe they celebrated Christmas early on. I disliked the later movies more and more, though, because Harry started to seem more angry than noble at times, so I did not even bother seeing the final one. It all just seemed like a dark mess to me, so I lost interest. But that’s just my take. I still do love those first movies.

    So, I’m back from WNY. Best. Trip. Ever. Boy, did I ever need to touch base with family!

    Now, this part belongs under the “We are not the Titans” post. I do believe I am the only true conservative in a large, largely Catholic family. There were intermittent barrages against Trump here and there, mostly calling him a liar. I remained silent. I said to my aunt one day while doing dishes: “Am I the only one who likes President Trump? (I asked it in such a way suggesting I didn’t need a reply). Then I added, “And am I the only one that sees that global warming is a bunch of bullsh-t?”

    🌞 Day 1. Uncle Wayne and I are preparing the yard for his 80th birthday party. We are looking at his above ground pool when he says, “Well, I’ve got the solar cover on, so the water should be nice and warm because of global warming.” I was standing behind him so he missed my expression. I withheld a snicker.

    🌞 Day 2. Aunt Judy says that my cousin’s business is going to 4-day workweeks to reduce their “carbon footprint.” I said “carbon footprint?” like it was the dumbest thing I’d ever heard, and she said, “Never mind.”

    🌞 Day 4. Dinner with family at a pricey restaurant, and my cousin-in-law lamented how serious the global warming situation was. I said gently that I disagreed. He looked surprised. Instead of stating the opposing arguments as facts, I brought up things that cast doubt on the claims and said that we should — as men of science — continue to keep an open mind and engage in discussion with regard to hypotheses. He has a PhD. He redirected the conversation then to spiritual matters.

    🌞 Day 6. A visit with Uncle Bob. He’s a gifted carpenter and expert on wood. Apparently the region is suffering from the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that is decimating the ash tree population. There is an effort underway to plant “millions” (!) of trees to compensate. Then sweet uncle Bob added, “And I will plant a lot of trees on our property to help with the loss of trees in the Amazon because trees make oxygen.” I stayed quiet and nodded, not mentioning that there are more trees now than in the recent past and that it is our oceans that make the bulk of the planet’s O2.

    🌞 These are all intelligent people, despite how they may sound. Soon enough, because of the Storm, this fictional anthropogenic climate change nonsense will be the last thing on their minds.

    More to come about the trip. Just had to get this one out there!

    Love,
    Patrick

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Love it, Patrick. It is bizarre that so many people fall for the idea of carbon as a pollutant and try to eliminate it. We are carbon-based life forms. Carbon dioxide is plant’s food (or air, as it were). Eliminate carbon and you eliminate life.

      But I should not be surprised. A few years ago, at a climate conference, some wag started a petition to ban the deadly chemical, “di-hydrous oxide,” which he said was responsible for more deaths per year than any other chemical and, perhaps, than all others combined. People eagerly signed and waxed eloquent about the dangers of di-hydrous oxide and the irresponsibility of governments who do not ban it. Of course, di-hydrous oxide is a way of saying H2O – or water. The people who nattered on were so self-righteously stupid you would have thought it was done in a college town. But these were professionals and staff of governments from around the world assembled to seriously discuss climate issues. Man, we have the worst and dumbest elite EVER.

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      1. Remember a couple of years back when the native peoples in northern Canada told NASA that the axis of the earth has changed? They based that on their observation that as long ago as their tribal memory goes, the sun was not visible above the horizon for a few December days. Now the sun is visible above the horizon all days. They also also observed the prevailing winds have changed: the snow drifts that they have to traverse are now perpendicular to the way they used to be. It seems to me when added to the magnetic poles shifting, that some kind of climate change is underway……but man is quite opportunistic to claim he had anything to do with it.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’ve always used dihydrogen monoxide when doing that exercise with students. It’s fun to look through the FAQ at dhmo.org. Usually at least someone figures it out. DIhydrogen MONOxide is a bit easier to translate to H2O than some of the other variants though.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, Linda, I love them dearly and am barely bothered by their CNN/NBC-fed biases. Who’s got the time nowadays to search for the facts?

        But we are witnesses of our faith before our families without preaching. A couple of times I would make a quick sign of the cross before eating a makeshift lunch or whatever, and sometimes someone would say, “Oh, we should say grace.” Sadly, the ritual of praying before meals which had always been a tradition in our families has fallen out of favor. After grace, so as to not seem too pious, I’d bring a little levity to the table by repeating our grandfather’s mealtime prayer:

        “Good food, good meat.
        Good God, let’s eat!”

        “A—MEN!” 😋

        Liked by 6 people

              1. Hinky Dink Kenna was a corrupt Chicago politician (am I being redundant?) in the late 1800s and early 1900s. His name is remembered in drinks, restaurant, and tavern names. Perhaps that is the Chicago origin. God bless.

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            1. Yes and Michael keeps saying this one: Love is patient, love is kind. His daughter is getting married today…and with both of unfortunately having been through failed first marriages (both annuled) we are learning..love is patient..love is kind…hahaha…really trying to help the newly weds (or soon to be)

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          1. Since my revitalizing trip back home, I’ve been practicing on showing an inner joy wherever I go. I can easily be a sour-puss (my default setting), so I must be mindful of my facial expression when in public. Sometimes a little “force” is required, especially when I’m not in the mood. But a smile can go a long way and is often met with another smile, and then exuding joy gets easier and easier!

            It’s part of our “Sign of Hope” mission, to show the joy in our hearts to others!

            Liked by 5 people

            1. Yes…that’s what I think too Patrick Daniel. Not that everything is always all rosy, but to spread love by a simple smile and to know God is working on us all. Lol.. I think Charlies joy is really telling. He Def has that inner joy and radiates it well. He’s a game little fellow🤗

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Wonderful, PD! When on the phone to customer service I try to remember to smile so even though they can’t see, my voice has a non-confrontational tone and more conciliatory inflection; (at least most of the time…) That line of work no doubt receives plenty of angst.

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        1. Ha, Patrick! I love your grandfather’s prayer!

          My older daughter’s name is Mary Grace. Until just a few years ago, this is how it would go at my brother’s house when we were there for dinner:

          Brother (to everybody): “Let’s say grace.”

          Everybody: “Mary Grace!”

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      1. Thanks Mick. The next time I go back to WNY, which may be sooner than later (God willing), I will drive so I can visit you and yours. Flying is nice, but there is too much to see and do on terra firma. And yes, I love to drive even in the harshest winter weather with 4WD and chains if need be. As I frequently love to brag: “I’m from Buffalo — we invented snow!” ❄️🌨☃️

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        1. Ha, Patrick! We Michiganders like to brag about our snow and our prowess at driving in it; but I readily concede that you Buffalo types win handily in both departments.

          Yep, hope to see you on your next trip through. 🙂

          Hey, when are your boards?

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Just two words, Mick: LAKE EFFECT. 🙂

            I just spoke with a classmate who just passed hers. She gave me an excellent study book to prep with and said the exam was very straightforward. I think 8 more weeks of prep and I’ll be ready. I’m developing my schedule now, which includes study, daily exercise, regular sleep, home cooked meals, adoration, daily mass, and lots of prayer. End of October I reckon.

            Liked by 2 people

                  1. Not so lame. I’m grinning, Patrick. 😉 Grinning and praying you’ll work hard and stay the course to jump this hoop and move on into employing your many gifts and talents to tend to God’s people who will be so blessed to come to wherever you are working and be under your care. So happy to be joining my prayers with those here who are praying you through these days of transition.

                    Liked by 1 person

  20. I used to be a sci-fi & fantasy fan once upon a time… I find the liberal/socialist ideologies in the movies/series nowadays to be far more dangerous than any made up name believe magic.

    I’m just sick of this Godless & fallen world we live in, my soul urging me to “turn & move away” from the different elements of this “modern Babylon” that we live in…

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thats “make believe” not “name believe”.

      I remember shows “Quantum Leap” not attacking Christianity’s , but including Christian elements into the episodes.

      People used to criticize me for watching sci-fi back then as fake & worthless, and my answer was “because it’s very fake, my mind doesn’t associate that content with real life like TV content that could pass for real life.”

      Associating media content (TV & movies) with real life is nothing short of brainwashing; which is why much of that stuff is progandized by liberals & socialists as “mind control.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. My favorite sci-fi that is TOTAL fiction is Star Trek, which posits that in the future there will be no more poverty (which we know won’t ever happen because Jesus said we will always have the poor). Star Trek says people will be fed by ‘replicator’ kitchen appliances so no need for hunting, though still some farming is needed to make French wine (but without human laborers thanks to automation). Greed and misery have been washed away thanks to abundance. Captain Picard says that man will no longer desire material possessions but will instead pursue intellectual passions like art, archeology, or science. (Ha!) There will be no more war because humans have “progressed” beyond such primitive behavior. Clearly there is no need for a God in the Star Trek universe as man has become god-like in his abilities thanks to technology. Humans of every country on earth are united into a seamless and friendly global government (notice that Western philosophy is the winning model).

      But the scariest Star Trek idea, repeated many times by Spock, the epitome of logic, is: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Sound good, but it’s plain old socialism if you ask me.

      Live long and prosper, everyone — through Jesus Christ!

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Yep “Star Trek” and all of it’s offshoots were prime time brainwashing that for sure sold the devil’s old lie in the garden of Eden that we could become gods; it contained socialist ideas & concepts that made people abandon Christ for the devil’s vision of a globalist new world order…

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Favorite episode: “Yesterday’s Enterprise.”

          And the concept of the Borg was creepy cool. I always saw them as the ultimate expression of socialism, an artificial society of perfect uniformity and equality. One Borg queen as ruler but everyone else as dispensable, numbered drones working as part of a collective. Creepy.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t watch much of anything these days not on TV, the movies, sci-fi and not even the Marvel movies as it’s all become though controlling propaganda like everything else Hollywood puts out these days.

        Liked by 3 people

  21. thanks for this humour line Charlie; it’s got me chucklin’ “The people who nattered on were so self-righteously stupid you would have thought it was done in a college town.”

    In my opinion, of the three fantasy series, LOTR, Narnia and Hairy Potter, LOTR is the best. It has a complexity to it unmatched by either Narnia or HP. My second rank is for Narnia and HP is a distant 3rd. I’ve re-read the LOTR series more than five times; the Narnia series twice and the HP series once.

    The movies series for each of the book series were a pale version of the books.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Glad you caught the humor in that line. I chuckled when I wrote it, thinking the beauty of it would be that people would immediately recognize what I was talking about without necessarily thinking what an indictment that is of modern college dysfunction.

      Liked by 4 people

  22. Charlie, I agree with your take on Father Dan’s intent and actions. From what I understand, he is a solid Priest, working diligently to bring the souls under his care to the Lord, and not unfamiliar with the topic of the occult. In his sense of responsibility to God and his parishioners, I think he acted with prudence. I cannot fault that decision, and I don’t think it laziness was his reason for not reading the books himself. Honestly, I marvel at why our faithful priests aren’t dropping like flies, given our expectations of them. They have an incredible administrative burden, it is true. Many do not have the support or real assistance of their bishops. But the Priests I know are not just carrying this heavy burden of administrative work, but are truly engaged in the battle for the souls God has entrusted to them. The weight of this battle is real-I think more real than the weight of paperwork and administering a Parish. I suspect this is the life and work of Father Dan.

    I have read the first five books of the Harry Potter series. I stopped after that. It’s been many years since I read them, but I can still remember feeling a deep interior recoiling at what seemed to be an increasing darkness underlying the story, that went beyond just the words of it. I am a lifelong reader of The Lord of the Rings Series. To me, there has always been an entirely different feel to those books compared to Harry Potter Books. Again, it is not just the words themselves, the author’s style, the settings, the time frame, or any other of the surface elements, and I fully realize I am writing this from a subjective, personal experience. I have no special knowledge. And although I have been present and in prayer during deliverance ministry, and have seen evidence of the enemy, my reservations regarding the Harry Potter books are not directly tied to any specific words in them, such as exact spells or lack of them. I live in a large metropolitan area. I remember a long newspaper article about the release of the latest book in the series. I don’t remember now if it was the sixth or seventh book. A large part of the article was about interviews the reporter did with children about why they would give up a night of good sleep to wait in line overnight for the chance to be among the first to buy the book. I clearly remember the reasons given by a few of the children-a couple of teens, and one younger child. Their answer? “I want to be a witch.” When I read that, I did not run around in a panic, thinking the sky was falling, or with my hair on fire 🙂 What truly troubled me was the rest of the answers, especially from two of the teens. They meant it. They had already begun their exploration into the occult, and the intended to continue. They had begun to live the life of a serious student of that life, and yearned to go deeper. One could rightfully say there’s more to it than just these books, and there is truth in that. It could also be rightfully said that for them, the attraction and fascination with the occult began when they read these books. Of course there are other books that could be a spring board into this curiosity. What I think is different now is that many, many of our young people have no solid faith foundation, or no foundation at all. Parents reading this series with their children at least allows for discussion of the larger themes of good vs. evil. Children reading them on their own, which I believe is most of them, see the flash and bang of the portrayal of magic and power. It’s heady and glamorous stuff. They don’t reflect on the larger theme of good vs. evil because they are either too young to comprehend the concept of a larger theme, and have no one to lead them into it, or they have no background knowledge or lived experience of the story and history of God’s plan for our salvation.They don’t have a relationship with God. As a Religion teacher in a Catholic School I see more and more of this. It used to shock me. I could not imagine it. It still shocks me, but now I’m shocked because it’s the norm. There is a huge interest in the occult and the supernatural even among these little ones. They are vulnerable to this misguided attraction. and temptation. I believe they will be held less accountable for following that attraction than those of us who could have done something to prevent it. Those of us who believe in God and try to be faithful easily see the spiritual battle we as a nation and a world are in right now. Sometimes it’s harder for us to see that it is also affecting our youngest ones, individually and personally in a different way, tailored to their age, personality, and vulnerability. It’s real.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Very thoughtful comment, KMA. There is a growing darkness in the middle of the Potter series – just like there is in the LOTR series…or for that matter, any epic saga of good versus evil. I suspect what may have caused you to recoil is that the Potter series so closely mirrors the growing confrontation of our times – and is set in that milieu. the cowardice of officials who should confront evil rather than pretending it is not there, the vanity of officials in protecting their own turf rather than serving their people, the growing effort to censor and punish those who see and speak honestly about what is happening. The LOTR series used WWII as its template. By the time it was published, we had already won so people could enjoy the adventure sensing the successful outcome because we they had already lived it. The Potter series is more discomforting because it uses current dysfunctions as its template – and we have not yet lived a successful outcome…it hits very close to what we see in real time. I appreciate your very thoughtful comments here.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you for your response, Charlie. I appreciate your making the connection between the series and the confrontation of our times. I also appreciate your desire to hear a critical evaluation of the books themselves, and what may be unwarranted judgements against them. The things that MP mentioned are all true. They are some of the very factors I think contribute to this attraction for something supernatural to escape, control, or solve this mess, and the personal pain some of our young ones live with. The great disconnect-the things that are touted as an answer are the very path to the pain. I will send a note to Father Dan. Like you, I am heartened by his taking a stand. I am grateful for his desire to protect those he is responsible for.

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    2. Sadly, there really is a huge interest in the occult, witches and wizards among the young, KMA. I’m glad you added the distinctions that there are many variables which have played into that development. Foundational to this sorry state is the need to reclaim holy order in families who are rooted in God, for just as you say, there are many variables at play in these developments among the young. Prayers for you and your students in your valuable role as educator in these days so difficult in so many ways.

      Liked by 4 people

  23. Charlie, since you help David Daleiden, you probably know about his. But just in case!!!! One of my friends was trying to talk a woman out of working at Planned Parenthood, and my friend was telling this woman she was praying for David and Sandra — that she thought they were heroes. The lady then referenced this site back to her. I hope David’s Attorneys can refute all of this in court. https://oversight.house.gov/planned-parenthood-fact-v-fiction Will keep praying hard for these two courgeous wonderful people!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Shoot, Connie, I chatted for an hour with David last night. We connect a couple of times a week. All week long he has been extremely happy and excited. What you cite was the Democrats minority report to the criminal referrals. Most of this has ALREADY been refuted in court, under oath, and PP employees have admitted under oath to some of the charges that this stuff attempts to refute. PP and its allies lie all the time – and for years (decades even) have gotten away with it because no one would effectively challenge them and the media just parrots whatever they say. It is getting harder now as courts have ruled on many of their lies. So they lie harder and more frantically. I chuckle because they are busily trying the same old same old in court and are alienating people whose instinct is to be allied with them. Not to worry…these things are just their basic lies. They will continue to lie, the media will continue to parrot them (often even after a court has refuted them)…and my friend, the walls are going to come tumbling down.

      Liked by 5 people

  24. I would say that I enjoyed the HP books, but I can’t say I gleaned any golden lessons from them. On the other hand, I still carry around with me pearls of wisdom from Prydain (Lloyd Alexander) and Tolkien. I consider HP as fun and not morally objectionable. OTOH, I consider Prydain and Tolkien as fun and substantively edifying. I also took away some good lessons from Reepicheep the Bold in Lewis. But different idioms speak to different generations. Maybe there are kids walking around today who are proud to be super smart, like Hermione, or who are encouraged to follow an unglamorous passion, like Neville. Back on Charlie’s original point, though, I have to give props to the priest. At least he cared enough to go out on a limb; that’s a lot more than most of our priests will do. I just wish the limb was a more important topic, like reverence for the Eucharist or the importance of Confession.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Excellent, thanks. Steve BC also redirected my thoughts on this matter with one of his earlier, unrelated comments.

      Here we are talking about the HP series, when I can barely account for the tsunami of filth we’ve allowed in so many ways to deflower the souls of our children. Oh, there’s a great torrent of profanity, vulgarity, pornography and other filth assaulting their senses. HP is among the least of my concerns.

      One of the things I cut my kids off from long ago was the Disney Channel. They’ve perfected the lying arts by painting all the Disney kids in their shows in the precocious, genius, kids-know-best vein, while all the parents and adults in those shows are painted as bumbling idiots.

      I, for one, will be at peace when the ground opens in a fiery conflagration and swallows that rot whole.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. I suspect it’s the case for a number of reasons, chief among them a wavering lack of faith and trust in Our Lord. Clearly many are feeling overwhelmed at all the evil, finding it enough to go about their daily work, occasionally nipping around the edges of the least problems lest they have to confront their lack of faith and trust.

          I’m heartened though, seeing and participating in increasing instances of obedience, even if only under the cover of darkness (for fear of family and the townspeople). Oh, we’ll get there by degrees, incrementally testing the Lord repeatedly because of our doubts.

          Just gotta keeping NRS’n to get there by the middle watch.

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    2. I do love that Fr. Dan did not sit cowering. He made a decision on reasonable grounds. In politics I used to get furious that so many would greet any decision with frantic efforts to cover their behinds in case it turned out badly – and so decisions were often avoided. I often told clients that a reasonable, but incorrect decision is much better than no decision…and when people were cowering at a tough call, I would sometimes reassure them by saying if it goes wrong, blame me. Some caught the edge of contempt in my voice – most were just glad to have a pre-arranged scapegoat. Make a decision and take responsibility for it. Sometimes you will fail…but you will also gain the reputation of getting things done that others tremble over…and so long as you acknowledge your failures as soon as you know them to be so, your credibility will always be strong.

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      1. Yes, Fr Dan deserves props for doing something, even if it wasn’t necessarily the best he could have done, and his stance allows for improvement, if he and others decide to carry the debate further.

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  25. First off , I will admit that I too have never read the books, but I have a holy priest friend who has. He has stated that he cannot find anything wrong with the books- although he thinks what they do is leave the young readers wanting more books like them. That is where it can be an open door into the occult world. Children don’t have the faith formation to be able to discern evil and what is not. I think at this point, it is good for the priest just to take the books out of his school. They should be out of all Catholic schools for the time being.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. This is an excellent point. As I mentioned in the article, a lot of young fantasy literature DOES have a subtle or overt anti-Christian stance or an occult bent. If the Potter books, even if otherwise harmless, gave children a taste for such fantasy without their parents helping them to discern what is actually benign and what is not, it would pose a threat to them.

      Liked by 6 people

  26. It really comes down to sensitivities guys.
    Mick makes a valid point about this in her “fingerprint” reference and these things should not be dismissed since we “wrestle not against flesh and blood” and most of us are at a disadvantage in seeing behind the veil of how what we do on this side is being played out on the other. My wife was and is very much against the Potter books and movies. She is very sensitive to potential evil and like all good mothers, defends her children from all potential dangers whether real or “imagined”. The subject matter is enough to warrant her dislike, as the subject of witchcraft and sorcery has always been vilified through the centuries. Me, I’m a risk-taker, thrill seeker. I run to the bizarre and eclectic, scary/fantasy movies and creatures most people find gross (but not vulgar). When someone screams and runs away, I jump in to see what all the fuss is about.
    It’s one of the reasons I like snakes-even venomous ones! They are one of my top 5 favorite animals. As a biologist, I appreciate the genius in thier morphological structure and the wonder and awe related to how a limbless organism is so advanced and highly adaptable. I even dream of collecting them and a great thrill fills me as I do. (I used to get the same thrill in real life back when I collected them in foreign countries for research).
    Most people I know shudder at the very mention of the word ‘snake’, some ridiculously so, and for good reason, they have an inherent fear a “sensitivity” of the unknown and of things shown to be dangerous. Snakes have been a deadly serious problem for mankind for millennium and are even depicted as such in several passages of the Bible! My Mothers nanny called them “imps of the devil” and would kill them on sight.
    But scientist have found several good uses for snake venom with some used for relieving blood clots and to help with heart attacks! This doesn’t impress most people though and some wouldn’t even use such a product if given the choice. Is it prejudice to fear something potentially dangerous? Funny thing is a serpent has been used as a symbol for the devil from the very beginning of history thus creating a terrific prejudice that snakes too are evil!
    I suggest we be gently with those who fear the unknown unless this fear lead them to something more dangerous.
    I, for one, realised a long time ago that I cannot reason someone’s innate fear of snakes away. I’ve come to believe the same of those who feel a real and present danger of the spiritual kind.

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    1. PF, I am totally of your wife’s side when it comes to snakes and HP too..I was very protective of what my nine children watched on TV and read. I homeschooled our last four because of the dumbing down in education, in reading ,writing and arithmetic. We saw a big difference in education over the 22 year span of our children’s ages, now 25 to 47 . Having seven sons I was always glad that the snakes were kept in a neighbours garage..way down the street from me! I am so thankful I live in Canada with no poisonous snakes! Personally..some of my sons really needed to read about virtue. I had and still have William Bennett’s Book of Virtue. I remember when one son’s public school reader had stories about bringing snakes to school to scare the teacher.. and the like, it was our final straw ..we put him in the Wesleyan Church academy,( we did not have an RC school in our city) where he read about virtue or at least stories which would not provoke a boy’s lack of virtue 🙂 That son is the middle child..now I do not believe anything the psychologists say about the middle child -YET I have to admit that this boy was the poster child for the middle child ! In fact how it came about for this son to go to the Academy..a friend heard God say for her to have 12 people give X dollars a month so that my child could go to the Academy, where she worked. She thought it was for our daughter , who was starting school.. she agreed with me when I told her about the book my boy would be reading. I appreciate all the positive comments about HP, yet I still am not a fan of children reading it…even though I have not read it..I err on the side of caution. I will answer for what my heart says. Some of my adult children have read HP though. I didn’t allow them to watch the Exorcist movie either 🙂 Again I really appreciate this discussion and will keep some of these comments in mind when I ever find myself in a discussion about Harry.

      Like

      1. PS I wonder what provoked the serpent to allow satan to use him…could it be that the animal kingdom was tested for their fidelity to God too, and the serpent failed the test, joining Adam and Eve in their sin and being punished along with them.
        I also thought, just lately.. Adam and Eve wore the first bikini…made from fig leaves..God provided clothes, made from animal skins, to cover them more..This was the first time animals were killed to make up for our sins…then animals continued to be used for sacrifices..hum ..until Jesus died on the Cross.

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        1. Interestingly Canada1, Dr Scott Hahn explains in the original text used in the Bible that the word for the serpent in the Garden of Eden in the book of Exodus is the same word used for the leviathan in the book of Job which goes on to discribe a dragon-like creature. Dr Hahn concludes that the “dragon” in Job is actually the same creature in Exodus and is not a serpent at all but a misinterpretation of the original text. He concludes that the great dragon that appeared in heaven (Rev 12:3) is -“The great dragon (that) was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan”(Rev 12:9) and is the same creature that appeared to Adam and Eve in Eden.
          As far as a snake “accepting” to do evil, they do not have this capacity. Only angels and men can sin since we have the God-like attributes to know and to love and thus understand the consequences of our actions and can choose to “not serve”. The rest of creation cannot sin because they cannot choose to behave outside thier natural power, what we call “instinct”. But they can have this natural directive corrupted by the fallen angels and by mans interference of thier natural order but they in themselves cannot sin as the laws of nature cannot be corrupted but only used by those who are corrupted in some inordinate way.
          Pestilence is one inordinate effect of this interference. In nature with a balanced ecosystem this does not occur. This is a product of these systems being disrupted by outsides unnatural effects such as logging, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, controlled burning, invasive species introductions or man-made invasions such as towns and cities, roads, dikes, farming, orchards, etc. The old saying is “nature will find a way” and so it does. Roaches, rats, mosquitoes and thier inherent diseases are all a byproduct of man changing thier natural state of existence which requires them to “adapt” to an unnatural one. Thier natural force does not change in itself but because of it’s fecundity they overpopulate under these conditions as the natural checks and balances that were in place to control thier power to succede has been altered.
          Charlie makes a good case to judge righteous judgment to the HP books and other things so I though I might give a bit of insight into the broken nature we have helped create. I do not expect people to give roaches and rats a free pass by this but to try and understand that it is thier nature to be this way and that they are sinless in thier natural endeavors to take over the world!

          Liked by 2 people

  27. Good News to celebrate Our Blessed Lady’s Birthday 😉

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/miraculous-healing-at-knock-shrine-confirmed-by-irish-bishops

    https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/ruling-in-filmmaking-marriage-case-a-victory-for-religious-freedom/

    https://www.foxnews.com/sports/nfls-drew-brees-defends-himself-after-bible-video-draws-critics

    Even good popes make bad politicians
    https://www.crisismagazine.com/2019/salvini-vs

    http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/cardinals-burke-and-brandmueller-say-pan-amazon-synod-challenges-deposit-of

    Just where are the US Catholic Bishops and Vatican on ALL the Radical Democrat Presidential Candidates with their views of Radical Abortion and Radical Sexual Perversion? … Eh!!?? The Bishops and Vatican are quick to dump on Trump every chance they get ….. The World Turned Upside Down and me in it ;-(

    https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/pete-buttigieg-defends-abortion-suggests-bible-says-life-begins-with-breath/

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/a-modern-day-pharisee-buttigiegs-evangelical-brother-in-law-urges-him-to-repent-of-abortion-views

    https://www.catholicleague.org/the-democrats-spurn-people-of-faith/

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/democrat-2020-presidential-candidate-finds-the-presence-of-god-in-congressional-oaths-absurd-a-sporadic-standard_3068036.html

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/09/05/kamala-harris-of-course-we-must-regulate-how-much-meat-americans-are-eating-n2552644

    https://stream.org/nurse-tells-pro-life-nurses-stay-health-care/

    https://freebeacon.com/politics/unions-sent-1-6-billion-to-liberal-groups/

    https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/460338-five-things-to-know-about-the-deadly-vaping-illnesses

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 3 people

  28. I have finished sending angels to Kim Jong-Un, North Korea’s leader this week and will send angels to Xi Jinping. China’s leader next week. It is hard to choose in these challenging times when there are so many in dire need and time gets ever shorter. May God continue to guide and bless us all as we TRNS and ASOH. jas

    Liked by 6 people

  29. I am sure this has been seen here before? but Cardinal Muller’s “Manifesto”on the elements of Catholic faith is very good:
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/images/local/Manifest_of_Faith-1.pdf
    BTW I got out of surgery for prostate removal Thursday and the Dr. Thinks he got it all and not feeling too bad at this point. Just some small discomfort which my spiritual director wants me to offer up for the church, for sinners and for my own purification from past sins.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. This is excellent, Sr. Bear. In most reports I read, even the sympathetic reporters get some significant facts or interpretations of what is happening badly wrong. This guy did not try to do much…so what he did get down he was right on target on. I will watch for more of his reports.

      Hee hee…they claimed that one of the witnesses had gotten sick (the one who said on video she wanted a Lamborghini). David and his lawyers saw her right outside the courtroom hugging friends and chatting with people. So they went back in and told the judge what was happening…and the Asst. AG jumped up and said, no she’s very sick and won’t be able to testify today. She flew off and is supposed to be back to testify next week…if she recovers from her “pink flu.” I’m impressed that this reporter saw this maneuver for exactly what it was – an effort to disrupt the flow, because things are going badly for Planned Parenthood AND the Atty. Gen. And they are going to get even worse next week. If you read next week that the case has suddenly been dismissed, it will NOT be because either the AG or PP has decided to let up on Daleiden, but because they are letting way too much into the record under oath that is likely to destroy them. I pray that this preliminary hearing continues to the end, because I want all the testimony under oath we can get.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Thank you for these extra details, Charlie. Also, I also appreciate your assessment that John Z. got his facts right. I, too, “want all the testimony under oath we can get,” as well as hard evidence to counter those who might lie under oath.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Here is a clip of David on Tucker Carlson last night. I told him I thought he was really energized – that he has a new bounce in his step. He chuckled and said he was exhausted when the segment was taped. Then there is this marvelous LifeSite News article. It hints at, but does not make fully overt, some of the horrors I spoke of a few months back. The evil here is Joseph Mengele level. They are “harvesting” parts from live-born babies. How depraved do you have to be to see a living, born baby and, instead of embracing it, taking a scalpel to it to kill it? That is how depraved some of these people have become. Thank God, some of the abortionists and PP executives testimony started breaking down badly Thursday – the last day of last week’s testimony. I can’t wait for next week’s to begin on Tuesday.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. Loved the clip and David looks and sounds great! I have shared this on Twitter and Gab. Since the original tweet is being heavily suppressed, I am linking it here for others to share on SM, if you’d like. ❤

            Liked by 4 people

    2. “Tentacles” is right, Sr. Bear. Have you ever noticed how our Mother’s adversary has not an ounce of creative power? He’s up to the old lies and deception games via Fusion GPS – and , of course, every other possible person/source – uh-gain.

      Liked by 6 people

  30. Charlie, I think you’ll eventually change your mind about Harry Potter, not because I’m going to convince you, but because I’m praying for you.

    Like

  31. Happy Birthday, Blessed Mary 😉

    We have discussed here the concept of Cold Anger as it relates to US Conservative Pew Peons and Citizenry. Conservatives have been played and sucker punched for 50 plus years by the Left and their “Can’t we just all get along” mantra and bipartisan “fixes” that never fix anything and Conservatives give an inch and lose by the mile policies. Fifty + years of draining the taxpayers pockets and morally bankrupting a once Judeo/Christian and Civil Nation.
    I assume that everyone here has figured out that The Left (US&EU) has gone past the Hot Anger stage well into the Berserker Violent Stage ….. most of which you will find little reportage of in The Usual Suspect Media. Until Election 20 we will witness, I suspect, an increase in every ages old Dirty Trick that Human History reveals. Voter Fraud, Intimidation and Poll Shenanigans being the least of the problems. The USA is divided as never before and more dangerously so. Every Racial, Sexual, Hollywood & Kook Fringe Cog of the Democrat Party is, daily. being Whipped-Up in a Frenzy of lies, distortion, greed and envy. Huge swaths of Traditional &/or Conservative America is being demonized, marginalized and muzzled.
    Pro-Life = Misogynist. Pro-Family = Homophobic. Pro-Border Control = Xenophobic. Pro 2nd Amendment = Nazi/Terrorist. ….. Get the Picture?
    Then there is the latest White Priveledge/Supremecy Ops to demonize at least 1/2 the USA………… and Freebies for Everyone.
    Big Unions, BLM, ANTIFA and the Pink Hat Crowd are gearing up for Major Confrontations and serious unpleasantness …. using “Social Media” & FlashMob Tactics…… and all with overt/covert support from The Usual Suspects in The Media, DNC, Facebook, Google, activist Judiciary ………. and even Lefty Churches. ;-(
    Now we get back to what those Cold Angered Conservative Pew Peons and Citizenry are gonna do? ………. It’s nothing less than Pure Hatred being “Preached” from the Democrat Marxist Socialists & Friends Pulpits to ????? ………….
    I’m betting that it’s Submit or Fight Time.

    https://www.cnsnews.com/blog/cnsnewscom-staff/pope-francis-me-its-honor-if-americans-attack-me

    https://videos.whatfinger.com/2019/09/07/here-we-go-doj-launches-formal-anti-trust-probes-on-google-facebook/

    https://stream.org/we-were-targeted-live-action-founder-lila-rose-says-facebook-censored-them-with-biased-fact-checkers/

    https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/09/07/venezuelans-increasingly-turn-to-witchcraft-seeking-relief-from-socialism/

    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/06/david-hogg-todays-mass-shootings-stem-from-americas-ingenious-mass-shootings-and-white-supremacy/

    https://thepatriotchronicles.com/news-for-you/pete-buttigieg-says-trump-weakens-the-nation-with-white-guy-politics/

    https://videos.whatfinger.com/2019/09/07/snowflake-leftist-author-asks-normal-people-to-not-wear-red-hats/

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/excessive-negative-entertainment-impacting-human-senses-curry

    GOD SAVE ALL HERE!!

    Liked by 5 people

  32. I try to hold Jesus and Mary within my heart, always. Each morning I renew my fiat to them offering myself for their disposal. I consult my heart often, knowing that They are there guiding my decisions if I truly go to Them and listen. As a mother, when I place the Harry Potter discernment in my heart, I feel danger. Do I have the words to make my case? No. I have my heart that feels a foreboding, a warning beyond a mere caution. Does this method hold up to scrutiny? Probably not. But as a mother, charged with the protection of my children and grandchildren, I will err on the side of caution. Sometimes “because my heart said so” is the only reason I can give.

    Liked by 7 people

  33. May all the graces and blessings of this special day, the Nativity of the Blessed Mother, fill each of us with renewed resolve and eagerness to tend God’s Kingdom in our own hearts, in our families and in the people around us, including this community.

    Liked by 9 people

  34. Linda’s musings on our Cana this past weekend:

    Lol..I’m such a recluse. I’m simple. I clean house. I go to Mass. I swim laps. I share comraddery with Michael. I go to bed. And ditto next day, next day, next day times most days a year….

    Spending 2 whole days with so many different folksies (almost 300 at wedding) rehersal dinner and getting to 130 pm Mass today with our Vibrant Spanish Mass community has just put me on such an unbelievable high because people…God’s people totally rock!!!

    What a great great God we have to create us all and to all hopefully one day be all together in heaven.

    What great joy.

    God is good.

    Thank you all for all ur prayers.

    Btw..Mexicans are amazing. .didn’t understand a word but they have UNBELIEVABLE FAITH. They wouldn’t even turn their back to tabernacle when up there for readings. Their shake of peace just sent chills down my spine. True joy. True faith. True and genuine love of God and neighbor. If you’ve never been to one of their Spanish masses I highly recommend 🤗😇😘

    Liked by 7 people

  35. Funny that you say that, Dan; because now that you mention it, I do indeed have a standing crucifix and a couple of reliquaries on the same shelf as my 2016 World Series mementos. I don’t know whether to laugh about or do a mea culpa on account of that odd juxtaposition.

    Liked by 5 people

        1. two of my favorites: I loved Seelos after Mother Angelica talked about him. I loved that he took care of the sick in New Orleans where he died… and St John Vianney took care of souls, my go-to for
          confession. 🙂 I’ve got several books on both of them. (actually, I have a really long list of favorites and I collect saint books).

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Joyful, I first heard of Fr. Seelos from Mother Angelica’s show, and have been a fan ever since. And St. John Vianney… I love that he was just an average farm boy that God used for great things. One of my favorite stories about him is when he’d have to weed really long rows of crops in his family’s fields, he would take a small statue (of Mary, I think), and he would heave it as far down the row as he could. Then he would see how fast he could weed up to where the statue had landed. Retrieve, heave, weed; retrieve, heave, weed. Before he knew it, he’d be all finished. I always think of this story when I have a ton of weeding to do in my garden. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. And judging from Charlies next post, I need a garden. I had one a long time ago, but was never very good at keeping it up. Perhaps St. John Vianney will come to help me if I ask for him. 🙂

              Like

              1. You betcha, Joyful… St. John Vianney for the win! (The garden win, that is.)

                If by any chance you’re interested in places to get open-pollinated garden seeds at good prices, some excellent sources are Fedco Seeds, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Pinetree Garden Seeds, Red Fox Organics, Victory Seeds in Oregon, Nichols Garden Nursery, Urban Farmer, and of course St. Clare Heirloom Seeds (owned and operated by our fellow TNRS-ASOH’ers John and Sarah).

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ha, Joyful! Seriously, though, I have ordered from all of the seed houses that I mentioned; and all of them have high-quality seeds. How many years has it been since you’ve had a garden? Plus, you mentioned that you weren’t good at keeping it up (then again, who is actually that good at staying on top of weeds?). At our house, we have kind of a novel approach to weeding: some weeds we just let grow, and then we eat them or harvest them for medicinal use. Examples: dandelion (food and medicine), plantain (medicine, although some people eat it), mallow (food and medicine), nettles (food and medicine), purslane (food and medicine), pigweed (delicious as cooked greens), lambs quarters (delicious raw or cooked, but don’t let them get too big or they’ll take over). When there are too many weeds for us to eat or use, we pull them up and feed them to the goats. Free food for them and us… yay!

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. it’s been over 25 years since my husband died and that long working full time–not able to garden–so I guess that’s it. I have a lot of catching up to do, don’t I. 🙂 Can you give me an idea of some good resource books so I can learn. I am a city dweller and my garden was a small one in my back yard. I’ve also thought of “container” gardens. Oh, and so many rabbits. 🙂 I am particularly interested in how you use plants for medicine. You have given me a new idea! thank you!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Joyful, the two best gardening books that I’ve seen are Gardening when It Counts, by Steve Solomon (available for about $11, including shipping, from abebooks.com), and The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Deppe (about $19, including shipping, from abebooks.com). These books were immensely helpful to me when I was really starting to learn to garden. Both authors emphasize using good hand tools like our ancestors did, rather than mechanized tools such as tillers and tractors.

                      By the way, the best hand tools I have ever used are the grub hoe and grape hoe from easydigging.com, and the long-handled version of the Cobrahead Weeder. I have a garage full of garden tools; but if I could only keep 3, these would be the ones. I know that it seems that using such hand tools would be super slow and inefficient; but when I still had teenagers who were around to help me in the garden, we were able to plant and maintain a 16,000-square-foot (about 1/3 acre) garden with just hand tools.

                      Regarding using common plants/weeds for medicine, the best book I’ve seen is The Herbal Home Remedy Book, by Joyce A. Wardwell (available for under $6 from abebooks.com). Several of the weeds discussed are probably growing in your back yard. 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. Mick, thank you so much for your help and expertise. This information is what I need. I want to become more self sufficient and acquire a skill that may help others in time. I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

                    Like

  36. More reckless, yet totally predictable ‘leadership’ from the Dems as they blather on this morning about impreachment proceedings after the summer recess. Good. Go ahead and pick a fight with a fair chunk of America. Bring it.

    Liked by 3 people

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