Vatican Newspaper Gives Two Thumbs Up for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Film

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Jul 13, 2009

Posted by SueTLC

L’Osservatore Romano, the official newspaper of the Vatican in Rome, Italy, has given its approval and review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film. The AP reports that the newspaper says the film is the best adaptation yet of the novels by author J.K. Rowling, and the sixth Harry Potter film “made the age-old debate over good vs. evil crystal clear.” It also gave two thumbs up to the film’s treatment of adolescent love,
saying it achieved the “correct balance” and made the stars more
credible to the general audience.”The article continues:

While criticizing Rowling for omitting any explicit “reference to
the transcendent” in her books, L’Osservatore said the latest
installment nevertheless makes clear that good should overcome evil
“and that sometimes this requires costs and sacrifice.” “In addition, the spastic search for immortality epitomized by Voldemort is stigmatized,” the review said.





46 Responses to Vatican Newspaper Gives Two Thumbs Up for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Film

Avatar ImageHagrid 713 says: Well who would have guessed?Avatar ImageHorcruxalej says: not surprised.. ha Avatar ImageRavenclaw98 says: who would have thoght though it was kind of wordy you know?Avatar Imagechikitcorpuzvesterbaek says: bout time they got it! Avatar ImageSwedishSkinJer says: Not to be rude, but I honestly don't care what the Vatican thinks. And what is up with their "criticism" for Rowling not explicitly mentioning any deities in her work? Read the Chronicles of Narnia if you want more explicitly religious themes.Avatar Imagechikitcorpuzvesterbaek says: hear, hear, SwedishSkinJer.Avatar ImageFresca says: The Vatican has trouble realizing that most of us can make the distinction between fact and fiction quite well. They are right though in saying that the battle between good and evil is one of the main themes. I don't think a work of fiction has to be about the transcendant, that is the realm of theology. Avatar ImageSwedishSkinJer says: Fantasy books do include deities, but that certainly doesn't mean all of them should. I appreciate the fact that the Harry Potter series doesn't dive too deeply into religion, because the other subjects that each book explores are quite complex enough: death, loss, isolation, destiny, etc. The fact that it contains references which could be interpreted as religious is sufficient enough, even though Rowling herself is not as pious/conservative as most of the Vatican's officials.Avatar ImageMorgana_Black says: wow im amazed that the vatican actually saw HP for what it really is aboutAvatar Imagenomad609 says: i too really do not care.... as if!Avatar Imagesianletley says: BLIMEY not just the vatican but u lot 2 take a chill pill and just enjoy Every1 is a critic these days Avatar ImageOuroboros says: I'm glad Jo doesn't make religious overt and shoved-down-your-throat as some other series. I mean, you can have it, yeah, no bother. Chronicles of Naria is an amazing series and the allegories never bothered me despite being atheist. I can enjoy a book with themes that I don't agree with no matter what. That doesn't mean they all have to have them though, for sure. So good on Jo for not doing it. It didn't take away from her books and I'm not sure what it could have added. Even the death scene in Deathly Hallows is ambiguous as to if Harry's gone to Limbo or Heaven or if everything is just in his head. But at least the Vatican finally gave up and gave his good ratings. I think we just beat out the Da Vinci code. Potter actually got approval instead of more burned books or DVD cases, haha.Avatar Imagenomad609 says: whoever criticizes Jo, who by the way is the greatest thing that has ever happened to mankind; are NUTS! I cannot respect them anyhow...Avatar ImagePaintTheSky says: Though it casts Half-Blood Prince in a generally positive light, I too do not care for the vatican's opinion. They had a fit about The Golden Compass and when they rallied their cronies here in the US the ratings were hurt and the film suffered, thus no sequel was made. I know I'm going off topic now, but no one should be able to exercise their 'free speech' to oppress others in this country or any other, and for that reason I cannot accept their opinion.Avatar ImageEdmundstaustell says: I think it is a perfectly good thing that the Vatican has been enthusiastic about the Potter series. It may seem like a small thing, or even a silly thing, to non Catholics, or people who are not particularly religious. All that is fine; but do remember that the Vatican speaks for upwards of a fifth of the planet. On top of that, if you want a prime example of what getting the Vatican REALLY down on you can amount to, just reflect on the fate of Philip Pullman and the Golden Compass in the Americas. He actually deserved it. No matter what he or anybody else says, the whole series is a hysterical diatribe against the Catholic Church, which sounds like something that was hatched a good 500 years ago during the Reformation. Potter is a whole different story, and I for one--while I don't check out the Vatican's permission to do anything--nonetheless appreciate an intelligent and positive appraisal of the series. Remember that crazy woman down in Georgia.... Avatar ImageHermione Elizabeth says: Not a surprise about how good the movie is... it is Harry potter after all! :) Avatar Imageno1hpfan says: wait didnt the vatican was against anything harry potter.. what ever i dont care either wayAvatar ImageRavenclaw65 says: I think it is a good thing that the Vatican can see this film and series in a positive light. Along the lines of what Edmundstaustell said, look at what happened to Phillip Pullman when the Vatican wants to bring something down. I too believe he got what he deserved with the His Dark Materials trilogy (even though I must confess I quite enjoyed the first 2 books in the series until I saw what he had been planning the whole time when I got to the 3rd book! I was outraged!). Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: Who wooda thunk it???Avatar Imageminishiva says: Honestly I didn't know that J.K.Rowling was obliged to speak about the transcendent. That criticism is not valid is like saying the book isn't good beacuse there are no angels...I am glad though that they finally taking notice that Harry Potter has its merits and its a great book that teaches good values to people from all ages. Avatar ImageVeinic says: ok i was like what, two thumbs up out of 5? but then i realized humans only have two thumbs... -_-Avatar ImageMimblewimble13 says: It's funny I'm reading a novel right now set in the 1700s wherein a lady is banned for life from the Catholic Church for becoming an actress. How times have changed.Avatar ImageRosalie says: For some reason this amused me and brought a smile to my face. lolAvatar Imagegryffindor1991 says: Thats cool I surprised they praised Harry Potter. Normally religious people hate Harry Potter. Half of my family hates it.Avatar Imageandusir06 says: I am not sure of anyone at the Vatican's position on Harry Potter before this, but am happy to see that my church sees the good.Avatar ImageRavenclaw65 says: That's not entirely true, Gryffindor1991. I am religious and I love Harry Potter. My mom loves them too. My best friends and their families love Harry Potter and they too are religious. My pastor at my church and his family love them also. The people who are religious and don't like Harry Potter just don't understand the story because they haven't read them. Avatar Imageauror_in_training says: I have to tell you, my jaw dropped when I read the headline. Then, after a moment, I had to smile. After all the people who have said HP is evil and tried to get the books banned (without even thinking that maybe they should, I don't know, actually READ what they are condemning), we finally have a high-level Christian authority giving a good review of a HP film and acknowledging the positive themes that exist in the novels and movies. The times, they are a-changin'. I am a Christian myself, and I have never felt the need to choose between my religion and my favorite book series. I believe many of the themes in HP are very compatible with Christian ideology, and I'm glad that other people are starting to see that as well.Avatar ImageHPNAIV says: Hm. Interesting... I just want the movie. Don't care what people think now!Avatar ImageLucius malfoy7 says: I don't see what all the fuss is about. There aren't any "KILL THE CHURCH" themes like in the Golden Compass, and if someone's going to say that Harry Potter is Wikan or something and that magic is bad and sacreligious, you will be barring yourself from quite a lot of things in life. Frankly, who cares what the Vatican thinks about this, but I'm sure that the films demographics will be strengthened: Christians who opposed Harry Potter may ease up a little bit.Avatar Imagebiiigbob says: At least the Vatican is looking at the work for what it is, entertainment. Avatar ImageJadeDanielle says: I don't care who it is, really - a good review is a good review. So I'm glad to hear this!Avatar Imagegirlatty1 says: shocking really - that they get it at allAvatar ImageBwaySaint says: Heh. Pretty interesting considering some religious folk choose to either ban or burn the book!!! But, regardless, I'll take any source that enjoys the movie!!!!Avatar Imagepvictorg says: The Vatican has always maintained a discreet, not to make additional publicity to the saga of Harry Potter, but there has never been an official condemnation of the Vatican. Often bias was invented by the Vatican allegations that have never existed. And the allegations of Pope Benedict XVI when he was Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, were taken out of context and manipulated maliciously. The authorities of the Catholic Church understood from the beginning, that was just another work of fantasy.Avatar Imagemollywobble says: Somewhere Laura Mallory is crying.Avatar Imagepansy parkinson says: This is kind of funny. Avatar Imagebadger666 says: Very interesting. Avatar ImageFigment says: I'm so glad they approve of watch I'm watching. (rolls eyes)Avatar ImageSnapesSilverDoe says: This endorsement is great to read. There is a great catholic podcast on the SPQN network - it's so different to Pottercast it's not a competitor (So I'm not a traitor :)). It's worth listening from the beginning if its still available on ITunesAvatar ImageJoost says: I wasn't planning on seeing HBP but now that the Vatican has given it its blessing...Avatar ImageAradion says: They even managed to spare a moment for a descent HP review? Wow, I'm so impressed! Avatar ImageMidnightSun321 says: YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Avatar Imagejeannemcl says: yip skippety do. Vatican approval. Who cares?Avatar Imagefianni88 says: Wow, this is pretty huge. But after criticizing Jo's books by saying they they did not have a "reference to the transcendent," it's pretty lame that they would say that the movie based on one of her books does. I agree with Edmundstaustell. It all sounds like something out of the Reformation, condemning and blessing based on politics and saying it was the will of God.Avatar ImageSwedishSkinJer says: I love the Dark Materials series, and I find it laughable that the Vatican is criticizing it. There is plenty of pro-religious literature out there. What's wrong with anti-religious themes in a book that nobody is forcing you to read? With how deeply the Vatican is involved in social issues (and considering some offensive statements they have made in the past), I think they deserved a bit of criticism themselves. I certainly do not respect them as an individual.Avatar Imagecauldronjane says: Considering the content of the series, the endorsement is a bit surprising. It's quite mature that they looked past controversial bits and highlighted the good trumping evil theme.

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