Vatican Succumbs to Harry Potter's Spell
Mon Feb 3,10:36 AM ET

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Harry Potter fans, relax. The Vatican says the kid is all right.

The question of whether J.K. Rowling's books and the films on the boy wizard have a positive influence came up at a news conference on Monday where the Vatican presented a document on "New Age" spirituality, which contain elements of the occult.

"I don't think that any of us grew up without the imaginary world of fairies, magicians, angels and witches," said Father Peter Fleetwood, a Vatican official who worked on the document.

"They are not bad or a banner for anti-Christian ideology. They help children understand the difference between good and evil," he said in response to a reporter's question.

The fifth book in the series, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," became an instant best-seller less than 24 hours after the June publication date was announced by the publishers.