Today when I came across this article, written just a week or so ago, I was struck by this quote from a letter written by then-Cardinal Ratzinger to a critic of the Harry Potter books. "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," wrote Cardinal Ratzinger.
The reason that this particular quote struck me, has to do with something that recently happened in a nearby community. Two young teens were found to be plotting to kill all of the people inside the local Catholic Church during Mass. They planned to chain the doors of the church and kill everyone inside, and afterward kill themselves. They went so far as to climb up on the church roof to plan the location of bombs they intended to detonate. The saddest part is, these teens are former students of the same Catholic school. They attended for all of their grade school years, one boy's mother even worked at the school.How could these boys go so wrong?
Certain elements of this story are connected to two of my recent posts: one about the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult about a high school shooter. Now, the difference between this local case and this novel is that these local kids didn't apparently have a grievance against some bullies at school. They apparently had a grievance against their entire church. I've been wondering what could possibly cause such hatred in the hearts of young people? Well, yesterday evening I saw a news story that showed a sketch that one of the teens made in a notebook which had been recovered by police from his bedroom. It was an image of a pentagram with "Hail 666" written on it. It sends chills up my spine to think that these kids could possibly have been doing Satan's work.
I'm sure eventually I'll learn more about what the teens actually planned, and whether or not they were serious, as well as whether they were actually "Satan worshippers." But in the meantime, I can't help but wonder about the connection between these kids and Harry Potter, the other post I referred to. When I saw Cardinal Ratzinger's quote this morning, I had an "ah-ha" moment -- subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity in the soul, before it can grow properly. Those subtle seductions are what I was referring to in my post about Harry -- the desensitization to evil -- it's not overt -- that would turn off parents and teachers. It's the subtle seduction of which we have to be careful. These local boys are in the Harry Potter generation. Their formative years have been filled with all things Harry. Is it possible that they been seduced by Satan; that they were subtly seduced?
Like I said, I'm sure more details about this story will be revealed and I hope it's not what it looks like.