"Si può essere "buoni cristiani" e nello stesso tempo "abbracciare" alcune pratiche New Age? Solo a patto di esercitare un serio "discernimento", è la risposta contenuta del documento "Gesù Cristo portatore dell'acqua viva. Una riflessione cristiana sul 'New Age'", presentato oggi in Vaticano. (...) Via libera, invece, a film come Harry Potter: "Nessuno di noi - ha detto don Peter Fleetwood [del Pontificio Consiglio per la Cultura e del del Ccee (Consiglio delle Conferenze episcopali europee), co-autore del documento] - è cresciuto senza fate, maghi o streghe", che nel caso della creatrice di Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling, "cristiana di convinzione, anche se non praticante in senso tradizionale", non sono "bandiere ideologiche anticristiane, ma aiuti per i ragazzi a saper riconoscere qual è il conflitto tra bene e male".
"Gesù Cristo portatore dell'acqua viva. Una riflessione cristiana sul 'New Age'" - Documento a cura dei Pontifici Consigli per la Cultura e il Dialogo Interreligioso presentato il 3.2.2003
Il documento vaticano sul New Age: alcune riflessioni preliminari, a cura del CESNUR
"Vatican backs Harry Potter"
by Nicole Winfield (AP, February 04, 2003)
The Vatican is giving two thumbs up to the Harry Potter series.
The Reverend Don Peter Fleetwood told a Vatican press conference today the good versus evil plotlines of the best-selling books were imbued with Christian morals.
"I don't see any, any problems in the Harry Potter series," he said.
Fleetwood was responding to questions following the release of a new Vatican document on the New Age phenomenon, which he helped draft as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Fleetwood was asked whether the magic embraced by Harry Potter and his pals at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was problematic for the Catholic church.
Some evangelical groups have condemned the series for glamorising magic and the occult.
"I don't think there's anyone in this room who grew up without fairies, magic and angels in their imaginary world," said Fleetwood, who is British.
"They aren't bad. They aren't serving as a banner for an anti-Christian ideology.
"If I have understood well the intentions of Harry Potter's author, they help children to see the difference between good and evil.
"And she is very clear on this."
Fleetwood, who is in the secretariat of the European Episcopal Conference, added that British author JK Rowling was "Christian by conviction, is Christian in her mode of living, even in her way of writing".
Rowling's four Harry Potter titles have sold an estimated 192 million copies worldwide, and the books have been published in at least 55 languages. The first two books have been adapted into hit movies and a fifth book in the series is due in stores on June 21.
The books chronicle the fictional adventures of young Harry and his wizard pals at Hogwarts as they battle Harry's nemesis, the evil sorcerer Voldemort.
Religious reaction to Harry Potter has been mixed.
While there has been criticism from some evangelicals, ecumenical groups such as Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have echoed Fleetwood's contention that the books illustrate important themes like the battle between good and evil.