Rome’s chief exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, has reignited the debate over whether Christians can practice yoga by declaring that both yoga and Harry Potter are tools of the devil.
“Practicing yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” Father Amorth said.
He went on to say that those seemingly “innocuous” Potter books convince kids to believe in black magic.
“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses.”
As for yoga, it leads to Hinduism and “all eastern religions are based on a false belief in reincarnation,” the 86-year-old priest said.
“Satan is always hidden and what he most wants is for us not to believe in his existence,” he said. “He studies every one of us and our tendencies towards good and evil, and then he offers temptations.”
Father Amorth, who performed more than 50,000 exorcisms since retiring in 2000, is the author of two books on his experiences and is both the founder and honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists.
Father Amorth is not alone in his estimation of both Potter and yoga. Pope Benedict once warned of “subtle seductions” in the Potter books that “dissolve Christianity in the soul.”
In 1999, while serving as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he issued the document “Some Aspects of Christian Meditation“ in which he warns Catholics about the dangers of eastern practices such as yoga, Zen, and transcendental meditation, saying that these practices have the danger of degenerating “into a cult of the body” that debases Christian prayer.
He also states that yoga poses could create a feeling of well-being in the body which could be confused with “authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit.”
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