A Maltese exorcist has called out the ever-popular Harry Potter franchise for attracting Maltese children to the occult, and warned that reading the fantasy books might encourage children to become Satanists after a private school included it in their syllabus.
“As exorcists, we’ve expressed various concerns about the content of the Harry Potter film and book series from the beginning,” Fr Franco Fenech told iNews.
“Young children are not able to distinguish between reality and fantasy. That’s why it’s so easy for this magic world of Harry Potter to be presented in a fascinating way, piquing their curiosity, and instigating children to continue experimenting with magic and the occult that could lead to a deeper practise of Satanism,” he continued.
Harry Potter is a children’s fantasy series revolving around a young wizard and his adventures. The first book was released in 1997, and the series has since gained worldwide popularity, with over 500 million copies of the books sold, and the Harry Potter franchise estimated to be worth over €22 billion.
Fenech slammed the private school in Malta for choosing a Harry Potter book as part of their English class.
Terming the choice of a Harry Potter book as concerning and questionable, he wondered what message was being sent to students who read Harry Potter in their English class.
“This is a very negative message sent by the school,” he said. “Instead of insisting with students to always ask more questions and get advice before doing something questionable, they showed them that good and bad are nothing more than something subjective – what I think is good for me is good and what’s bad for me is bad.”
Fenech then warned about how easy it was to find information on the internet in this day and age – not all of which is “educational and constructive”.
However, the Marsa-born priest clarified that you wouldn’t actually become possessed per se if you read a Harry Potter book.
“To be clear, no one is going to be possessed by the devil after watching or reading Harry Potter, but this could pique their curiosity and be the beginning of experimentation in regards to the world of the occult,” he warned.
Fenech then widened his scope beyond the teenage wizard.
“The problem is that we are so bombarded with this type of material: in cartoons, films, music… today this has become the culture. This is the most dangerous thing! Nothing shocks anymore, but everything has become a part of everyday life,” Franco said.
Malta has six official exorcists, all under the remit of the Commission for Occult and Satanism, whose unique Windows 95 website can be found here. (A word of warning – the website will attempt to download a file to your computer when you enter it.)