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Dear Rufinus,

You posted the following, and I found it quite interesting:

Quote

One of the greatest arguments I found against this idea were the accounts of reporters in Rwanda and other war-torn areas. They often describe what they call "winds" of evil.


Among the many stories I have heard among relative, etc., as well as my own experiences, I can relate what you said to the following:

I had a great grand-aunt, (whom I had never met), that had some very troublesome experiences. She was widowed, and lived in a house that was being claimed by another. Something that was quite common on the island she lived on. She didn't dare leave it at night, for fear that the squatters might come in. She was highly devout, and each night she would hear rocks and boulders being thrown on the roof, and in the morning, there would be no damage what-so-ever.

One day she begged my grandmother, who was quite fearless, to please sleep with her. She was terribly frightened. Well my grandmother did, and refused to ever do so again. She not only heard the rocks and boulders, believing the house would cave in, but also heard whispers through the door key hole, saying 'I will take you'.

All this eventually stopped, but started again during the Nazi occupation, when an 'evil' wind seemed to prevail. Many, many starved to death, as the Germans shipped all food to Germany. Basically it was a form of genocide, since those that seem to have been favored by the Germans, and survived the imposed famine, were those that tended to be the most 'Germanic' in their appearance.

If this story might seem a little odd, I came across exactly the same story when reading about the Cure D'Ars, Saint John Vianney. He too heard boulders thrown on his roof, and the same whispers through the key hole.

God Bless,

Zenovia

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Originally Posted by Wondering
Originally Posted by byzanTN
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Who was it who was supposed to die but was given a reprieve?


I don't know if you saw it, but Rowling has been on morning TV this week answering such questions. I think it was "Today" but those morning shows are all alike and I frequently forget on which one I saw something. BTW, she did answer your question but we can't tell Anhelyna any of the plot yet. biggrin

I didn't see any of it. I answered my own question in white font. It is a book 5 spoiler, so Anhelyna is fine.


Anhelyna, have you read it yet?

My wife and oldest have a question we want to ask concerning the plot. It is something we have not been able to figure out and may represent a gap if ONLY in our understanding, or perhaps the plot itself!

Gordo


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Originally Posted by ebed melech
Anhelyna, have you read it yet?

My wife and oldest have a question we want to ask concerning the plot. It is something we have not been able to figure out and may represent a gap if ONLY in our understanding, or perhaps the plot itself!

Gordo

Gordon,

You can start a thread with spoilers or you can submit a post without the question (so it doesn't email it out to those subscribed), then edit it to add the question, then put it in white font with a warning. Then anyone who wants to avoid it can and anyone who wants to read it can.

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I am not passing judgement, and have not read the book/books.

It sounds like these books are fascinating, engrossing, and interesting from the comments of well respected posters here. All who are writing on this forum are definitely spiritually mature enough to read these books.

However, this does not change the fact that in doing a quick google search, it seems that both the Pope and Orthodox leaders are not happy (to put it mildly) about these books.

Therefore, as Catholics under the Pope and Orthodox under these leaders, I don't know if these threads are positive for those who may be reading them, (at one time there were 1000+ readers at one time viewing this forum) or if they are misleading in that they go against the wishes of our spiritual leaders.

Just a thought....

Alice


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The Pope didn't read them and was told, while Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, this woman had written a book about fighting witchcraft in Harry Potter and mailed it to him, so he wrote her a note that was highly generic about how good it is to fight the modern evils plaguing children or something like that. It is now hailed as proof that the Pope said they are evil and shouldn't be read.

Oh, and I started another thread before reading your post. blush

Last edited by Wondering; 07/30/07 06:38 AM.
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Originally Posted by Wondering
The Pope didn't read them and was told, while Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, this woman had written a book about fighting witchcraft in Harry Potter and mailed it to him, so he wrote her a note that was highly generic about how good it is to fight the modern evils plaguing children or something like that. It is now hailed as proof that the Pope said they are evil and shouldn't be read.

Oh, and I started another thread before reading your post. blush


Alice,

Some very good friends of ours heard their priest from the pulpit say that it was a mortal sin to allow your children to read Harry Potter. For their part, they decided to take his counsel and not let any of their children read the books.

I have heard varying opinions from clergy on the matter - some for, some against and some neutral. For our part, my wife and I decided that the priest in question was, while very well intentioned, wrong in his prudential application of Church teaching on the matter. After actually reading the books, we found them to be fun and engaging stories, and I would even go so far as to say that the last volume especially has very strong Christological undercurrents. The books actually do teach important virtues to kids, and I do not believe that our children have been harmed in any way by reading them.

Here are some interesting articles on the subject:

http://www.up.edu/portlandmag/2004_summer/potter.htm

http://www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/logos/volumes/5-4/5-4%20Article%20Sample.pdf

Part of the issue is that those who are howling the loudest (deliberate pun in there for HP readers) probably have not read them at all.

Hope you are doing well in your travels!

Gordo

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Part of the issue is that those who are howling the loudest (deliberate pun in there for HP readers) probably have not read them at all.


I have suspected the same thing. While I would pay much more attention to a statement from Pope Benedict than to statements from some of his predecessors, I strongly suspect Pope Benedict hasn't read any of these books. Initially I had little desire to read them, but as a school librarian, my students were reading them. Some children who hadn't picked up a book all year were suddenly reading. Naturally, I wanted to read the books myself. They are not great literature, but Rowling does tell a good story and I can see why the children found them interesting.

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Zenovia, I read that story about St. John Vianney also. I believe he also heard ox carts rumbling through his room at night. Let's just say I am glad I don't live near your relatives. wink I believe in the existence of angels and also believe that what are often called "evil spirts" are the fallen angels who now serve Satan. However, in earlier times when crops failed, animals died, or illness struck, too often the weird old lady who lived on the next farm was taken out and killed for being a witch. This is the kind of witchcraft I don't believe in and it has caused numerous innocent people to be tortured and killed. That weird old lady didn't have any power to harm anyone other than by direct physical action. She could have hit you with a stick, but had no power to harm anyone through magic powers.

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"However, in earlier times when crops failed, animals died, or illness struck, too often the weird old lady who lived on the next farm was taken out and killed for being a witch."

Please be careful in insulting history. Generalizations are easy to make and easier to believe, and this one is inaccurate. That kind of generalization has been used to dismiss the medieval age and, with some, is rooted in an anti-Catholic slant of history.

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Originally Posted by Terry Bohannon
"However, in earlier times when crops failed, animals died, or illness struck, too often the weird old lady who lived on the next farm was taken out and killed for being a witch."

Please be careful in insulting history. Generalizations are easy to make and easier to believe, and this one is inaccurate. That kind of generalization has been used to dismiss the medieval age and, with some, is rooted in an anti-Catholic slant of history.


It does depend on where one lived, to be sure. History Channel or Discovery did a program on the Spanish Inquisition some time back that I wish I had taped. The Inquisition in Spain did get a lot of bad press from the Protestants, but it turns out they documented everything. The records reveal that 3500 or so individuals were put to death in Spain during a 300 year period and none of those were for witchcraft. The Spanish inquisitors were university trained lawyers who didn't believe in witchcraft. The Spanish deaths were mostly for heresy. During the same time period, approximately 25,000 people were killed in England and France for witchcraft. My generalization is quite accurate in some places, such as France, England, and colonial America. Sometimes history deserves to be insulted, depending on where it happened.

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Zenovia, I read that story about St. John Vianney also. I believe he also heard ox carts rumbling through his room at night. Let's just say I am glad I don't live near your relatives. ;\)


Dear ByzanTN,

To deny what my highly devout grandmother said, (who by the way did 20 prostrations a night for protection), is quite remarkable and arrogant. But then again, you are a product of your time, place and personal experiences. Oh that's right, you denied what a saint said too. Hmmm! Do you deny the Bible too? frown Or am I misreading your intent? If I am, then I apologize. blush

Quote
I believe in the existence of angels and also believe that what are often called "evil spirts" are the fallen angels who now serve Satan. However, in earlier times when crops failed, animals died, or illness struck, too often the weird old lady who lived on the next farm was taken out and killed for being a witch. This is the kind of witchcraft I don't believe in and it has caused numerous innocent people to be tortured and killed.


In that respect you're right. I recall my mother telling me how as a child she and others would throw stones at a weird old woman, thinking she was crazy crazy ....that is until some highly educated and wordly men saw her walking on air when going to church to receive the Eucharist. Turned out she was really a saint.

Actually in my own personal experiences, I have found that those under the complete influence of demonic powers, have an uncanny ability in arousing suspicions about others. Those that contain evil within themselves, are easily able to arouse negative passions within those they have contact with, making them believe that what they themselves are doing, (lying, stealing, etc.), are faults within people innocent of them. So for that reason, it has always been the innocent and the saintly that become persecuted. The causes are always demonic.

The only good I see coming out of the 20,000 plus witches that were burned at the stake in Northern and Western Europe, is that it must have put quite a fear in the people. Witchcraft certainly died out in that part of the world. Hey! shocked They even killed all the cats in France.

As for witches being blamed for failure of crops, etc,, that is something new to me. Usually the failures were and are due to the turning away from God by a people. I think though in retrospect, if we were to look at all the area's where great sufferings had occurred, (massacres, famines, etc.), we would find that the occult was quite prevalent before the occurrence.

The cities in the Old Testament such as Sodom, were not occurrences that ceased afterwards. More than likely, it was merely an example of what would occur when people turned away from God, and undoubtably did happen each time a town was taken and massacres occurred. Not to mention famines, plagues, etc.

God Bless,

Zenovia

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Dear ByzanTN,

To deny what my highly devout grandmother said, (who by the way did 20 prostrations a night for protection), is quite remarkable and arrogant. But then again, you are a product of your time, place and personal experiences. Oh that's right, you denied what a saint said too. Hmmm! Do you deny the Bible too? Or am I misreading your intent? If I am, then I apologize.


Yes, you are misreading my intent. I wouldn't want to live next to someone who has boulders thrown at her house. What if the devil has bad aim? biggrin As far as what happened to St. John Vianney, I would suspect those fallen angels I mentioned were responsible for that.

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"My generalization is quite accurate in some places."

It was not common through history that such events occurred. It was not common through the middle ages, and it was not common during the renaissance or during the upheaval following the Protestant revolt.

It is unfair to magnify an event in history or a series of related events and to suggest that it was a part of the normal experience of the commoners. Besides that, it is unfair to justify a generalization because it was or is some of the time true. That's the difficulty with generalizations.

One must be careful when attempting to insult history.

Terry

Last edited by Terry Bohannon; 07/30/07 06:11 PM.
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