Gone are the days when a pro-forma "stay in school" message could protect a popular entertainer from the slings and arrows of the authorities. As noted below by commenter Jeff, Pope Benedict XVI has joined Harold Bloom in publicly condemning the Harry Potter series. In a 2003 letter to the author of Harry Potter—gut oder bõse (Harry Potter—good or evil?), then-Cardinal Ratzinger proclaimed:
Many thanks for your kind letter of February 20th and the informative book which you sent me in the same mail. It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly.
A person named Michael O'Brien, identified by LifesiteNews.com as a "Catholic novelist and painter," author of "a book dealing with fantasy literature for children," and the "most prominent Potter critic in North America," emphasizes the need to get Ratzinger's opinion out there, both to clear up an earlier rumor that the Vatican had approved of the series of children's books and to prepare the faithful for the coming battle against He Who Cannot Be Named:
This discernment on the part of Benedict XVI reveals the Holy Father's depth and wide ranging gifts of spiritual discernment… It is consistent with many of the statements he's been making since his election to the Chair of Peter, indeed for the past 20 years—a probing accurate read of the massing spiritual warfare that is moving to a new level of struggle in western civilization.