I had no idea the Vatican had a chief exorcist. I’m not sure why I’m surprised – believing demons can possess people isn’t any wackier than believing in the resurrection. But I must say I’m disappointed. Apparently Father Gabriele Amorth is not a fan of Harry Potter:

Reading JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books is no less dangerous, said the 86-year-old priest, who is the honorary president for life of the International Association of Exorcists, which he founded in 1990, and whose favourite film is the 1973 horror classic, The Exorcist.

The Harry Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide, “seem innocuous” but in fact encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry, Father Amorth said.

“Practising yoga is Satanic, it leads to evil just like reading Harry Potter,” he told a film festival in Umbria this week, where he was invited to introduce The Rite, a film about exorcism starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as a Jesuit priest.

“In Harry Potter the Devil acts in a crafty and covert manner, under the guise of extraordinary powers, magic spells and curses,” said the priest, who in 1986 was appointed the chief exorcist for the Diocese of Rome.

Come on, you know he’s just worried about job security. Harry Potter provides an alternative hypothesis to demon possession – the Imperius curse. It has just as much evidence, so no wonder he’s worried.

What a Slytherin.