The Italian Almanac

the infamous wizard and his friends

Italian News - July 15

Pope Benedict believes the Harry Potter books subtly seduce young readers and "distort Christianity in the soul" before it can develop properly, according to comments attributed to him by a German writer. Gabriele Kuby, who has written a book called Harry Potter - Good or Evil, which attacks JK Rowling's best selling series about the boy wizard, published extracts from two letters written to her by Benedict in 2003, when he was a cardinal.

Ms Kuby, a devout Catholic, had sent him a copy of her Potter critique and he wrote to thank her, according to a passage from one of the letters published in German on her website. "It is good that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because these are subtle seductions which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly," Benedict wrote, according to the excerpt.

A Vatican official was not immediately able to comment on the remarks attributed to Benedict, who is currently on holiday in the Alps.